11. What does the guidance say about parent's right to withdraw?

What does the new Relationships Education (RE), Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education Statutory guidance say about parents/carers and right to withdrawal?


As you might remember from some of our previous blog posts, Relationships Education (RE) and Health Education are compulsory for all students under the new statutory guidance.

Therefore parents/carers do not have the right to withdraw their children from Relationships Education or Health Education.

But what about sex education, we hear you ask?

Parents DO have the right to request that their child be withdrawn from some or all of sex education delivered as part of statutory RSE, up to and until three terms before the child turns 16.

Ok…but what happens then?

After that point, if the child wishes to receive sex education rather than be withdrawn, the school should provide the child with sex education.

It is important to note that before granting a request to withdraw a child from sex education, it would be good practice for the head teacher to discuss the request with parents/carers and, as appropriate, with the child to ensure that their wishes are understood and to clarify the nature and purpose of the curriculum.

Seems like a good idea to us!

The guidance acknowledges that the role of parents in the development of their children’s understanding about relationships is vital.

Parents are the first teachers of their children. They have the most significant influence in enabling their children to grow and mature and to form healthy relationships.

Therefore, it is essential that all schools should work closely with parents when planning and delivering these subjects. Good communication and opportunities for parents to understand and ask questions about the school’s approach help increase confidence in the curriculum.

Is there any other help available?

There are some great resources out there to help schools interact with parents/carers, as well as to help the parents/carers themselves when addressing issues concerning relationships and sex with their young person.

Here are a few we would LOVE to share with you!

Think U Know provides guidance for parents/carers on how to keep their children safe online.

The Sex Education Forum provide an evidence briefing that sets out the views and experiences of parents in relation to the relationships and sex education of their children – both at home and at school.

There is a wide range of information and support for parents/carers on Big Talk Education’s website, as they believe that parents are central to high quality RSE.

Still wanting more information? Well you’re in luck! Loudmouth still have lots of information that we are excited to share with you, concerning RE, RSE and Health Education!  Just head to our website to find out more.

You can continue to keep up to date by signing up to our Loudmouth E-Newsletter for more help and support.

Finally, make sure you check out our information on the Roadmap to Statutory RSE, created by the Sex Education Forum and PSHE Association.

What people say

Take a look at how we’ve helped others

Brilliant acting and interaction with the children. The play itself covered puberty in an open, realistic and humorous way which forms a terrific basis for future discussion with the teacher and each other. So much depends on the enthusiasm of the actors and I feel that we were very lucky to have such a talented pair, not only to perform, but to lead the discussions afterwards. They were able to relate to the children without any embarrassment. SUPERB!!

Governor/Teacher

Compared to other companies we have had covering the same content, the actors were more flexible and accommodating to the children’s individual needs. Through their answers and questions, the children were demonstrating a higher level of understanding, empathy and personal safety.

Safeguarding Lead