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Relationships and Sex Education

All pupils should benefit from high-quality relationships and sex education at school. Schools have a clear role in providing pupils with a safe and supportive environment in which to develop the knowledge they need to make wise and informed choices, that reinforce the information that they receive from their parents.

From September 2020 there are statutory elements of RSE that all schools must deliver.

The University of Bristol has published the following document which summarises what makes RSE effective and acceptable to young people.

Delivery is just as important as content in sex and relationship education (July 2017)       

RSE in Wiltshire

In Wiltshire, our overarching goal is to help and support young people to understand and manage their physical, emotional and social development, through childhood, puberty and adolescence, and to prepare them for an adult life in which they can enjoy their sexuality and the benefits of healthy, committed and loving relationships.

To that end, the core aims of an RSE programme in school, taking account of the age, maturity, ability and background of children and young people, should be to enable them to:

  • acquire the knowledge and understanding they need about their bodies, how they work and how they develop;
  • develop the skills and confidence to think clearly and communicate effectively about feelings and relationships;
  • develop the skills and confidence to make decisions, and to identify and deal with influences, pressures and risks;
  • develop self esteem and the capacity to value and respect both themselves and other people, and so avoid all forms of exploitation in relationships;
  • be aware of and appreciate their own sexuality and understand the nature of human sexuality and reproduction, free from distortions, myths and misconceptions;
  • with positive values and personal integrity, to develop a moral framework to guide their decisions, judgements and behaviour together with an awareness of and respect for the values held by others;
  • gain the knowledge and skills to protect themselves and their partners from the physical and emotional risks associated with immature, irresponsible or unprotected sexual activity, including unwanted conceptions and sexually transmitted infections (STIs);
  • acquire the knowledge, confidence and capability to access appropriate sources of help, advice, support or treatment whenever they need it;
  • understand the demands and rewards associated with family relationships, whether as a child, husband, wife or partner, or as a parent, and be aware of the many variants of these relationships in modern society;
  • identify their hopes and aspirations for their personal lives and their relationships, and consider how best to achieve these.

A range of central training opportunities are available to support teachers deliver Relationships and Sex Education as part of a programme of PSHE education. Schools can also request bespoke training to meet staff needs or to develop a whole school approach to SRE which can be delivered through INSET or staff meetings. Contact Nick for further details.

Swindon Soroptimists have developed a lesson plan and bookmark to help secondary schools in Swindon and Wiltshire promote positive relationships. 

Further copies may be requested by schools, for use in PSHE lessons. Please contact Lydia Cardew, Project Officer with Swindon Soroptimists  01672 810214 for details of how to obtain more copies.

Suggested lesson plan

Article about the project

Resources and useful links

Quality Review Framework for RSE

This framework aims to help schools quality assure their RSE provision and enables schools individually, or in partnership, to undertake a review process as a self or peer review. 

Core criteria provide a minimum standard that all schools should expect to meet.  

The framework was developed following a pilot and evaluation involving schools and members of the Healthy Schools teams in Wiltshire and Bath and North East Somerset.  

The documents, previously offered for sale from the RSE Hub, are now available for Wiltshire schools to use.  

Supporting LGBT young people

Teaching about Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)  

Harmful Sexual Behaviour 

DfE info on free sanitary products in schools

The Sex Education Forum poster that schools can display and share with parents, staff and governors. 

Educators and organisations that support schools with RSE can display their own statement of commitment Download supporter poster displaying 'We are committed to RSE. . . '

A4 and A3 versions of both versions of the poster are available to download from the SEF website

Free e-learning from Brook

A list of further links to online teaching resources