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This conference focused on the implementation of the new Relationships, Sex and Health Education curriculum in England (RSHE), following the compulsory introduction of relationships education in primary schools and secondary schools at the start of the academic year in 2021.
It was an opportunity to discuss the implementation and teaching of the RSHE curriculum moving forward, including the involvement of parents and households.
Areas for discussion included:
- implementation so far:
- lessons learnt - support for teachers to feel confident in delivering the curriculum, and what further training might be needed
- curriculum design:
- effective strategies - including learning from development of individual school policies
- increased flexibility - utilisation when designing the curriculum
- outside expertise - ways in which it is being used by schools when teaching
- inclusivity - including the teaching of protected characteristics
- faith schools - delivery of the new curriculum so far
- parental and guardian engagement:
- engagement and partnership - involving parents & households in the development of school policies & curriculum design
- support - improving the availability of resources, including support for conversations outside school hours & addressing cultural and religious sensitivities
- supporting students through the challenges they face:
- understanding of mental health & wellbeing concerns - relationships, online safety, tackling sexual harassment, and use of the curriculum
We are pleased to have been able to include a keynote session on next steps for delivering high quality RSHE provision in schools with Roary Pownall, Subject Lead, Relationships, Sex and Health Education, Ofsted - as well as further keynote contributions from Paula Penny, Head, RSHE and Citizenship Unit, Department for Education; Jenny Fox, Senior Subject Specialist, PSHE Association; Laura Anne Jones MS, Member, Children, Young People and Education Committee, Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliament; and Kerry-Jane Packman, Executive Director, Parentkind.
The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from the DfE; the Cabinet Office; and the Welsh Government.