SafeLives welcome new relationship and sex education guidance

We welcome the introduction of the new relationship and sex education guidance, released last week by the Department for Education for primary and secondary schools in England, teaching children and young people the importance of healthy relationships, mental health and keeping safe online.

In particular, we’re pleased to see the government has responded positively to our request to teach about menstruation from primary school age. We also welcome the clarity that relationship and sex education across all schools will have equality of gender and sexuality at its heart, based on law.

For this education to be successful, teachers must be given the training and resources they need. Though it is good to see the proposed level of training has increased from 1 day for one teacher in each key stage, to 1.5 days, we’re still concerned this is not enough to prepare teachers effectively.

We know there will be at least one child in every new reception class who has lived with domestic abuse since they were born, and one in three teenage girls will experience some form of sexual abuse in their own relationships.

The new relationship and sex education curriculum is an incredible opportunity to teach all children and young people what healthy relationships look like, and improve their understanding of how to get help if they are experiencing abusive behaviour. Survivors of domestic abuse overwhelmingly tell us this is what they want to see.

Read the relationship and sex education guidance

Read the Report

An exploration of relationships and sex education in English secondary school settings

“I love it – but wish it were taken more seriously” Exploring relationships and sex education in schools

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Find out more about Safe Young Lives our programme of work across the UK to reduce the risk experienced by young people and to improve the care pathways they can access.