A new dawn for PSHE is here after the statutory Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), Relationships Education and Health Education motion was passed in the House of Lords (24th April). These vital aspects of PSHE are now guaranteed to be taught in schools from 2020.
From September next year, primary school children will be taught age-appropriate online safety, including what to do when encountering something they are uncomfortable with; the importance of treating others with respect, even when posting anonymously; and the dangers of talking to strangers online. They will also learn how to look after their own mental wellbeing and recognise when their classmates might be struggling, alongside lessons on nutrition, staying active and the importance of both spending time outdoors and getting enough sleep.
The guidelines fit the overall ethos of Ofsted’s proposed new inspection framework and its emphasis on personal development, meaning that the biggest shake-up of PSHE and RSE curriculum for nearly 20 years has real purpose.
Teachers, unions and expert stakeholders have highlighted the importance of access to high-quality resources in order to deliver this content effectively and consistently, for the benefit of teachers and pupils. The Department for Education is now engaging with suppliers to ensure there are accessible, trusted resources available that cover the content in its statutory guidance for these subjects, whilst respecting and enabling schools’ flexibility to deliver the content in a way that is appropriate and sensitive to the needs of their particular cohort of pupils. This includes provision for children with SEND.
I am so pleased we have reached this point and can now move forward. These subjects have the power to transform a pupil’s awareness of the world around them, their ability to understand what a healthy relationship looks like, and the laws on relationships. Teachers having access to high-quality resources to support their teaching of these subjects, especially sensitive topics such as on safeguarding and mental health, is key. 1decision offers quality assurance which reflects the nature of the content.
We have already delivered a number of presentations and webinars to schools around how they can prepare for the new guidelines on Relationships Education in primary schools, Sex Education in secondary schools and Health Education for all ages. We are continuing to develop our high-quality 1decision teaching resources and are delighted that we will be able to help schools further prepare learners for life.
Schools now have the option to adopt the new RSE guidelines from the start of the next academic year, before it becomes a statutory requirement from September 2020. FAQs can be found here.
Hayley Sherwood is creator of 1decision, part of Headway learning resources
25th April 2019