Let’s talk about R.S.E

Please note: this blog was written by a secondary school teacher relating to children aged 11-16. All views expressed are the writers own.

Did you know…RSE was initially named SRE but later changed as it was felt that the R should come before the S!

RSE is Relationship and Sex Education, for most of us parenting children now this was the dreaded Sex education. What  we would have received was a one off lesson where an outside agency usually came in and shown us a banana and a condom and answered a few giggly daft questions which our actual teachers were grateful they didn’t have to answer. We left this lesson with no new knowledge and possibly our first exposure to Sex.

The new statuary requirements should ensure that RSE is a high quality educational lesson(s)  that are delivered within school curriculum time either within a lesson a series of lessons or through workshops and drop down days.

Most students will already, I repeat already be receiving this education. I specialise in teaching RE Religious education and in the majority of schools RSE has been bunged in with RE or PSHE or Citizenship, Social studies, Personal Development and any other unique names for anything not Maths, English, Science, Humanities, PE or Tec   and as a teacher of this area of study we manage to cover a vast amount of topics/themes in very limited curriculum time.

RSE is not a new thing it has just been highlighted as a curriculum area that needs bringing into the 21st century and yes my fellow parents that does mean that relationships are very different now than they were in the past. Please rest assured a good quality curriculum,  a good school and a teacher who is given the tools to perform, will ensure that the relationships covered promote healthy relationships, issues around DV, religious view points, marriage , divorce and interfaith, inter race and  homosexual ones too. The whole point is that young people leave with a good understanding about the world we live in. By no means will RSE be promoting certain relationships other than healthy ones, free from abuse just as much as RE doesn’t promote a specific religion.

The three dangers I see are: parents pulling children out of these sessions and children looking into it them selves; schools not providing the resources/training experience to staff and teachers turning to buying in materials or downloading materials to help them which can lead to bias materials being produce; and  lastly inadequately trained or informed schools trying to tick box the curriculum but missing the vital part of educating the young people.

For further information please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-relationships-and-health-education-in-schools