Updated guidance on relationships, sex and health curriculum issued for England schools

Issued by the government on 24th September 2020


  • New guidance issued for England schools supporting the teaching of relationships, sex and health curriculum.
  • All pupils should receive teaching on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) relationships during their school years.
  • Secondary schools should include LGBT content in their teaching.
  • Primary schools are strongly encouraged, and enabled, when teaching about different types of family, to include families with same-sex parents.
  • The guidance includes support on building a school policy, required for inspection purposes.

New statutory guidance issued by the Department for Education this week has outlined updated requirements for the teaching of a relationship, sex and health curriculum for schools in England.

Schools will be required to teach:

  • relationships education (all primary aged pupils)
  • relationships and sex education (RSE) (all secondary aged pupils)
  • health education (all pupils in state-funded schools only)

Once inspections return, Ofsted will evaluate the provision for relationships education, relationships and sex education and health education in line with Ofsted’s school inspection handbook and in the context of the updated guidance.

Independent schools are required to teach personal, social, health and economic (PHSE) education.

Sex education at primary school is not compulsory but can be taught if a school decides that it is appropriate to do so.

All pupils should receive teaching on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) relationships during their school years. Secondary schools should include LGBT content in their teaching. Primary schools are strongly encouraged, and enabled, when teaching about different types of family, to include families with same-sex parents.

The guidance includes information to create an inclusive classroom, taking into account, “what it is like for a diverse range of pupils to be taught about these topics and how individual pupils may relate to particular topics, including complex and sensitive subjects that might personally affect them.”

For primary schools, the guidance advises,

Primary schools are not required to teach sex education but must teach relationships education and have regard to the statutory guidance in full.

DFE, 2020

Schools are also required to produce School Policies covering what is being taught, with consideration to safeguarding, the curriculum and dealing with sensitive issues.

For more information and to read through the guidance, visit the UK government website by clicking here.


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About @digicoled 351 Articles
Colin Hill - Founder, researcher and editor of ukedchat. Also a bit of a tech geek! Project management, design thinking, and metacognition.

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