What does the new Relationships Education (RE), Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education Statutory guidance say about LGBT+?
As you’re probably very aware by now, the new statutory guidance on RSE will be mandatory in all schools by September 2020. But what does it say about teaching about sexuality and how does it acknowledge society’s diversity and its increasing impact on young people’s lives and understanding of their identity.
What does the new guidance say on LGBT+?
- LGBT+ is highlighted in the guidance as being a relevant for all young people
- LGBT+ should be fully integrated across all conversations and not just a stand-alone topic
- All students should understand the importance of equality and respect
- The guidance goes alongside the Equality Act 2010 where sexuality is a protected characteristic
But, what about primary schools?
Informing young people about the different types of families is required including LGBT+ families. It is important to consider the emotions of the young people and to ensure that they do not feel stigmatised for being a part of an LGBT+ family unit. Or any other unit such as; single parent, young carers etc.
Did you know…One in Eight adoptions are now to same sex couples. (Department of Education, 2018)
So, how about Secondary Schools?
Well, as mentioned earlier, a positive that has come from the new RSE guidance is when teaching about LGBT+ it should be integrated across all content and not just sit as one isolated topic. So, try not to just do an LGBT+ lesson!
Instead LGBT+ experiences should be included across a range of different topics within RSE provisions such as sexual harassment, digital relationships, families and sexual health.Another way that you can include LGBT+ identities, in the desired whole school approach, is by acknowledging the diversity of people in all subjects across the curriculum. Why not talk about Alan Turing’s experiences of homophobia in a mathematics lesson? Or discuss Oscar Wilde’s sexuality when reading some of his literature?It would be great to highlight diverse relationships and identities in our society and that young people should have an understanding that everyone has the right to a healthy, happy and safe relationship including same sex couples.What is Loudmouth doing to help?Bully 4 U Secondary is our programme aimed at Key Stage 3 (11+) where one of the characters experiences homophobic bullying and the young people can ask questions regarding the bullying and its impact, as well as discuss services for support.
Talking Heads is our Secondary programme for Key Stage 3 (11+) focused on mental wellbeing. The programme includes an LGBT+ character, but it is not made the core focus of the programme. Instead, the programme highlights diverse relationships and identities in an integrated way.
Over recent years there has been a growing body of evidence that LGBT+ young people face significant social and health inequalities, which can begin at school.
Many young people begin to identify as LGBT+ in school and there is evidence that nearly half of LGBT+ pupils are bullied because of their sexual or gender identity, and many young people report missing school because of this (Stonewall, 2017).
Stonewall was founded in 1989 and campaign for LGBT+ rights and equality, they support LGBT+ young people with any questions they may have or struggles they might be facing.
Gender Intelligence is a not for profit charity created in 2008. They work with the trans community and run trans youth programmes, support sessions for parents and carers, and offer professional development awareness training.
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.