What is RSHE?  

Relationships Education in primary schools and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) in secondary schools and Health Education [all schools] (RSHE) will be compulsory for all schools across England from September 2020.


What You Need to Know about RSHE

  • The Law, also known as “Regulations”, dictates that pupils must learn about: (i) safety in forming and maintaining relationships, (ii) the characteristics of healthy relationships, and (iii) how relationships may affect physical and mental health and well-being,
  • It also states that the education has to be appropriate having regard to the age and religious background of the pupils.
  • Therefore, schools can select what they teach from the DfE Guidance and justify their selection regarding age and faith.
  • There is no legal requirement to teach sex education in primary school.
  • Parents can opt out of sex education in secondary school for their child up to 3 terms before the pupil is 16 years of age.
  • So, before you make your enquiries:
    • Make sure you know what is law and what is a choice.
    • Remember that schools must take into account the background of your child when teaching RSHE.
  • As a parent, you must find out:
    • what your child will be learning in RSHE
    • at what age RSHE is taught and whether you think this is age appropriate
    • is the RSHE in your school coherent with your views and beliefs?
    • in the primary school – is sex education provided?
    • in the secondary school – are the arrangements for withdrawing your child clear?


Your Rights as Parents and Carers 

  • Schools are obliged to inform you of their plans for teaching RSHE including providing samples of schemes of work and resources.
  • You have a legal right to be informed about what is being taught. Your opinions must be taken into consideration
  • Send a courteous letter or email to the Head teacher outlining what you want to know and why


Some schools may have already decided on the programmes they intend to use based on guidance from other educational bodies. However, as a parent you are free to suggest or propose resources like A Fertile Heart if you genuinely feel the overall provision of RSHE would be enriched and enhanced by the school adopting it and integrating it alongside other areas of the curriculum. You may even consider proposing it to the Governors and senior leaders within the school as something worth fundraising for among parents and carers.