What does the new Relationships Education (RE), Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education Statutory guidance say about law?
You’ll be pleased to hear that the new guidance very clearly states that all teaching should reflect the law (including the Equality Act 2010).
Young people should clearly understand what the law allows and does not allow, and the wider legal implications of decisions they may make.
They should be taught the facts and the law about sex, sexuality, sexual health and gender identity in an age-appropriate and inclusive way. Knowledge can help to keep them safe!
Teaching should also include the age of consent, what consent is and is not, the definitions and recognition of rape, sexual assault and harassment, sharing personal information using technology, and choices permitted by the law around pregnancy.
There are other areas of the law which will need to be addressed. But don’t worry! These are very clearly identified on Page 30 of the guidance.
Under the provisions of the Equality Act 2010, schools must not unlawfully discriminate against pupils because of their age, sex, race, disability, religion or belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, marriage or civil partnership, or sexual orientation (collectively known as the protected characteristics).
It is recognised that there will be a range of opinions regarding RSE. The starting principle when teaching each of these must be that the applicable law should be taught in a factual way so that pupils are clear on their rights and responsibilities as citizens.
If in doubt, refer to the law!
How can Loudmouth help?
Loudmouth provide updates and lesson plans on the law and how it applies to a variety of different topics covered in the guidance. Below are some links to some free quizzes for you to use with students (or staff) to help them all become PSHE Legal Eagles!
- Sex and the Law
- CSE Consent and the Law
- Abuse in Relationships - Sexual consent and the law
- Alcohol and the Law
- Bullying and the Law
Any further thoughts?
There is statutory guidance available on how to keep young people safe in education, which will be helpful to read in conjunction with the law
Stonewall has some clear information the laws relating to aspects of relationships and sex, including domestic violence.
The PSHE Association provides information and support for teaching the law, including a summary on the law on sexual consent.
We will be tackling other areas of the guidance in our series of blog posts which provide further support regarding the new guidance. Check them out on our website.
We also offer staff training which can support you in fulfilling the requirements of the new guidance in your school.
Finally, make sure you check out our information on the Roadmap to Statutory RSE, created by the Sex Education Forum and PSHE Association.