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What is Relationships Education?

Relationships Education teaches the fundamental building blocks of positive relationships, focusing on friendships, family relationships, and relationships with other peers and adults.

Children need to learn about relationships, the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up, human sexuality and sexual health in an age-appropriate way. They need to learn about include puberty, how a baby is conceived and born, body ownership, and safeguarding. All of this helps to keep them safe. Our SCARF Relationships Education curriculum also includes statutory Health Education as well as non-statutory sex education. Therefore we often refer to this as RSE: Relationships and Sex Education.

Our RSE lessons are a key part of the SCARF curriculum which provides the framework for a whole-school approach to improving children’s wellbeing and progress, based the SCARF values: SAFETY, CARING, ACHIEVEMENT, RESILIENCE and FRIENDSHIP.

Our resources help children to be safe, healthy and happy.  Delivered as part of PSHE (Eng) RSHP (Sco) and Science, they help schools meet SMSC, safeguarding, and emotional wellbeing requirements, as well as ensuring that they meet all the the DfE Primary Relationships Education and Health Education and National Curriculum Science requirements.

Statutory Relationships Education 

In September 2020 Relationships Education became compulsory in all primary schools in England.

Health Education (of which puberty education is a key part) is also compulsory.

Parts of sex education remains non-statutory, but the DfE recommends that schools have a sex education programme tailored to the age, and physical and emotional maturity of the pupils. All maintained schools should continue teaching reproduction as part of the Science National Curriculum.

What do schools need to do differently?

All primary schools now need to ensure they review their Relationships Education and Health Education provision:

• Is there an up-to-date RSE policy?

• Are teachers sufficiently trained and confident to deliver RSE? We offer a 1-day virtual Relationships Education course.

• Is there a planned curriculum in place? Find out how SCARF provides a complete PSHE and Wellbeing curriculum.

• Is RSE timetabled throughout the academic year so themes can be built on and messages reinforced?

• Is assessment and monitoring built in? Find out about SCARF assessment tools.

• Have the needs of the pupils been considered? Take a look at this consultation pack from the Sex Education Forum which also covers how to consult with parents.

• Have parents been consulted about the RSE offer? 

• Has a budget been allocated to purchase supporting resources? 

How can Coram Life Education's SCARF PSHE and wellbeing resources help?

By subscribing to SCARF you will have access to over 360 easy-to-use PSHE curriculum lessons, everything in one place, all planning and assessment built in, saving you time.  Lessons are mapped to the DfE Statutory Guidance, making sure you meet your statutory requirements.

We also deliver four RSE workshops  directly to children for schools that prefer outside visitors to support them. Enhance your provision with trained educators, experienced in discussing sensitive issues in an age-appropriate way.




Our FAQ page - Find out the answers to the questions that most teachers are asking us

Find out how we work with schools

Find out more about SCARF


Useful reading:

Read the final Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education Statutory Guidance (June 2019)  

Read our Relationships Education lead Lisa Handy's blog, responding to the DRAFT Relationships Education and Health Education Guidance – A significant step forward but with missed opportunities (November 2018)

Read our response to the Government's call for evidence on effective Relationships Education and PSHE (July 2017) 

See our own RSE Research Report and Findings (July 2017) 

View the DfE Sex and Relationships Education Guidance (2000) 

Read Sex and Relationships Education for the 21st Century. Supplementary guidance developed by the PSHE Association, Brook, and Sex Education Forum (2014) 

Keeping Children Safe in Education: for school and colleges (September 2018) 

National Curriculum Science Programmes of Study 

Sex Education Forum Relationships and Sex Education Curriculum Design Tool

Sex Education Forum Roadmap to Statutory RSE (November 2018)

Sex Education Forum: Principles of good RSE (November 2017)


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