Best Practice

RSE, health education and parental consultation

Parental engagement with statutory relationships, sex and health education is a vital component of a successful curriculum. Leah Jewett offers her advice to primary schools ahead of September 2020

It is no wonder that relationships and sex education (RSE) are the only subjects that require parental engagement in their development. Parents are in fact the missing link when it comes to both RSE and health education. If parents speak openly at home, it is a form of early intervention and on-going prevention – a starting point for safeguarding, improving mental health and strengthening the parent-child connection.

As we prepare for the introduction of the new statutory RSE and health education curriculums in September, supporting parents in their role as their children’s primary educators will help schools because it:

Parents and school are children’s top two preferred sources of information about sex and relationships, according to the Sex Education Forum’s Briefing for Parliamentarians (SEF, 2019a). The 2019 SEF Young People’s RSE Poll found that 48 per cent of respondents rated the quality of RSE they received from their parents as “good/very good”. However, 19 per cent – one in five – rated it as “bad/very bad” (SEF, 2019b).

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