The Department for Education (DfE) has published its updated draft guidance for the teaching of health education, relationships education (for primary age pupils) and relationships and sex education (RSE - for secondary aged pupils). The updated draft guidance will form the basis for the final guidance when all three subjects will be mandatory for relevant schools from September 2020. The DfE previously consulted on its draft guidance for the subjects between July and November 2018, and a response to that consultation has also now been published. It is the first time guidance on sex education has been updated since 2000. Ahead of the new subjects becoming mandatory the DfE will be making £6 million available in the 2019/20 school year for a ‘school support package’ to cover training and resources for the new subjects. The DfE also say they will provide support to ‘early-adopter’ schools who will start teaching the new curriculum from September 2019. Announcing the updated guidance education secretary Damian Hinds said ‘Growing up and adolescence are hard enough, but the internet and social media add new pressures that just weren’t there even one generation ago. So many things about the way people interact have changed, and this new world, seamless between online and offline, can be difficult to navigate. Almost twenty years on from the last time guidance on sex education was updated, there is a lot to catch up on’. Jonathan Baggaley, chief executive of the PHSE Association, said ‘We strongly welcome this government commitment to compulsory education on health, RSE and relationships. Parents, teachers and young people have been crying out for more focus on PSHE education, so will be delighted that this core content will be guaranteed on the school curriculum.’

Full outcome of DfE consultation and updated draft guidance available at:

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