What does the new Relationships Education (RE), Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education Statutory guidance mean for special schools?
The good news is…the guidance is pretty much the same for special schools as it is for mainstream schools.
It is important to note though that in special schools, and for some SEND pupils in mainstream schools, it is a great idea to tailor content and teaching to meet the specific needs of pupils at different developmental stages.
You know your students best – so make sure the content is best for them!
As with all teaching for these subjects, schools should ensure that their teaching is sensitive, age-appropriate, developmentally appropriate and delivered with reference to the law.
Schools should be aware that some pupils are more vulnerable to exploitation, bullying and other issues due to the nature of their SEND, particularly those with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs or learning disabilities. So, again, try to tailor the content accordingly.
If there is a request to withdraw the student, the head teacher may want to take a pupil’s specific needs arising from their SEND into account when making the final decision. The young person’s safety is at the heart of all decisions – as it is at the heart of the guidance!
Teachers are asked to be mindful of the SEND Code of Practice alongside the new guidance, which details legal requirements and duties of local authorities, health bodies, schools and colleges to provide for those with special educational needs. It emphasises the need to encourage independence and to meet individual needs.
The guidance aims to ensure that young people are happy, healthy and safe, regardless of their special needs. We agree with that here at Loudmouth!
Here is a video from the NSPCC that might help with teaching SEND pupils.
Finally, make sure you check out our information on the Roadmap to Statutory RSE, created by the Sex Education Forum and PSHE Association.