Confused about Compulsory Relationship Education?

I was at a Sex Education Forum event recently where there was a lot of debate about the current state of compulsory RSE. I was a bit confused and so I thought I would share what we have found out at Loudmouth to help others make some sense out of the latest announcements.

So….Relationship Education for primary schools and Relationship and Sex Education for secondaries are both set to become compulsory (as originally announced in 2017). However this will now not be until September 2020 (although Secretary of State, Damian Hinds has said that it will be ‘available’ to schools from September 2019.)

There seems to be a few things causing the delay. The first is that schools were meant to have the finished guidance in September 2018 to have a year to prepare however the consultation on the current and recently published draft guidance doesn’t actually close until 7th November 2018!

Secondly there have been concerns from teachers about where to teach about accurate naming of body parts (vital for safeguarding), preparation for puberty and understanding human reproduction as these wouldn't have been covered in the primary relationship education.

Part of the solution appears to be the announcement of compulsory relationship and health education which does intend to cover these alongside issues around mental health and wellbeing. This is all of course as well as any requirements schools have in the science guidance.

Consultation for both the relationships, sex and health elements is open now and if you haven’t seen it or commented you can find the link here The pdf of the draft guidance is near the bottom of the page.

As far as we can see it is not clear yet how this will all work exactly. Will there need to be three separate plans and policies or one that combines them all? Is this a step closer to compulsory PSHE?

The next few months will be interesting however one way or another it looks like covering the issues that support our children and young people will be compulsory by 2020. Of course many schools are already covering all of this and others working hard to be ready for 2019 let alone 2020.

Loudmouth can help support your school with updates and free resources, white papers, ideas and links. We send out regular and free newsletter on compulsory relationships education, relationships and sex education, and health education (We’re not sure CRERASEAHE is going to catch on as an abbreviation but we'll come up with something!)

You can sign up for these updates here..

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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!!


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