Championing healthy relationships

and sexual wellbeing

Submission to government review on RSHE

In the summer term, acet UK was asked to submit evidence to the English government’s Department for Education (DfE) for their review of the statutory Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) guidance for schools. We were given very little information about how exactly the review process was going to be completed but the key request for this process was for stakeholders to submit evidence-based recommendations for how the current guidance could be improved. 

According to previous announcements, the next stage of confirming new statutory RSHE guidance should be an Autumn release of a draft version of new guidance for widespread public consultation. Whilst we are waiting for this next step, we wanted to share with you what we recommended in our submission of evidence. 

The process asked for each recommendation to be submitted separately but you can read our suggestions in full online

The recommendations may seem a little repetitive at times: we did not know how the review of these recommendations would be organised by the DfE and we could not assume the staff reading a specific recommendation would have read other recommendations. 

You will notice that a strong theme in our recommendations is about improving how the guidance says RSHE should be implemented and we did not make extensive recommendations about specific subjects and content. The guidance has always given the minimum required content and we celebrate the many Esteem members and acet UK staff who provide RSHE lessons on subjects that go above and beyond the minimum content listed in the DfE guidance.

The key things we think the guidance should say when revised include the following:

  • Working with external organisations and RSE educators is recommended to enhance the delivery of these subjects. External organisations provide specialist knowledge and different ways of engaging with young people. Students are best served by schools working in partnership with external RSE organisations. 
  • Teachers and external visiting educators facilitating RS(H)E sessions should volunteer to teach the subject. 
  • Teachers and external visiting educators facilitating RS(H)E sessions must have completed a minimum of 6 hours of facilitated RSE educator training.
  • Teachers and external visiting educators facilitating RS(H)E sessions must have completed a minimum of 2 hours of facilitated RSE update training in the last 12 months.
  • All RS(H)E educators must have passed accredited RSHE training before facilitating RS(H)E.

And one about the layout:

  • Learning outcomes should be organised with a numerical or alphabetical list layout