New statutory requirements for the teaching of Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) come into force this academic year (2020 to 2021.) At Axe Valley Academy we believe this is a vital part of our role in preparing students for independent adult life and we will be delivering these requirements through our PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) curriculum. An overview for each year group is provided below. If you would like to see the programme in more detail, please refer to the appropriate document attached.
Parents have the right to withdraw their child from Sex Education lessons only until three terms before the child’s 16th birthday at which point it becomes their decision. Should you wish to discuss withdrawing your child from Sex Education, you are advised make your request in writing by sending an email to Mrs L Ford (Headteacher’s PA) at email@example.com and we will get back to you to discuss any concerns you may have and consider alternative provision options.
The PSHE curriculum for each term can be viewed on our curriculum pages or by following the links below:
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1 What does “statutory requirements” mean?
A It means that it is required by law. The RSHE and Equality Act are legally-binding.
Q2 Why are you writing to us about this?
A It is essential that we recognise life for young people today is very different from our childhood and we want to support parents in navigating this. Additionally, should you wish to express your views on our proposed curriculum structure, content and policy, you have the opportunity to respond.
Q3 What is the difference between RSE, RSHE and PSHE?
A PSHE is a title that means Personal, Social and Health Education which we will be continuing to use in school. It covers not only the statutory requirements but other aspects of personal development that we believe are important for young people. RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) and HE (Health Education) are the Government’s terms for different aspects of a child’s education that are sometimes combined to make RSHE.
Q4 How important is this?
A Axe Valley Academy will be inspected on how well pupils are being prepared for 21st Century life. RSHE within a comprehensive PSHE programme is an integral feature of your child’s learning and development at Axe Valley Academy and fits within our Core Values.
Q5 What can I do if I have concerns over the PSHE curriculum?
A You are welcome to discuss any part of the PSHE curriculum with Rob Selby, the PSHE Coordinator. We welcome parental views but the curriculum content will be balanced between these, the school’s values and our legal obligations.
Q6 Why is it important that all children take part in PSHE lessons?
A Children need to learn that prejudice and discrimination are illegal, and to treat people with respect. This curriculum also provides additional safeguarding for your child from many of today’s threats to young people.
Q7 What if I have my own views on the topics covered in PSHE?
A If parents want to share different views at home, of course they can. The school is also open to teaching different viewpoints, possibly in other curriculum areas e.g. Religious Education.
Q8 Does the new Relationships Education and RSE curriculum take account of my faith?
A The subjects are designed to help children from all backgrounds build positive and safe relationships, and to thrive in modern Britain. In developing these subjects, the Department for Education worked with a number of representative bodies and faith organisations, representing all the major faith groups in England.
Q9 Do I have a right to withdraw my child from Relationships and Sex Education?
A Parents have a right to withdraw their child from sex education delivered as part of RSE in secondary schools which, unless there are exceptional circumstances, should be granted up to three terms before their child turns 16
Q10 Has the government listened to the views of my community in introducing these subjects?
A A thorough engagement process, involving a public call for evidence and discussions with over 90 organisations, as well as the public consultation on the draft regulations and guidance, has informed the key decisions on these subjects. The consultation received over 11,000 responses from teachers, schools, expert organisations, young people and parents – these responses have helped finalise the statutory guidance as well as the regulations that have been laid in Parliament.
Q11 Will these subjects promote LGBT relationships?
A No, these subjects don’t ‘promote’ anything, they educate. Pupils should be taught about the society in which they are growing up. These subjects are designed to foster respect for others and for difference, and educate pupils about healthy relationships. RSE should meet the needs of all pupils, whatever their developing sexuality or identity – this should include age-appropriate teaching about different types of relationships in the context of the law. The Department for Education expects secondary schools to include LGBT content.
If you require further information about the PSHE course please contact Mr R Selby PSHE Co-ordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org)