Want to find out more? News and sample lesson plans

Relationships and Sex Education – teaching children as early as possible how to form healthy relationships and stay safe

Ann Shallcross Feb 25, 2019


Today, 25 February, Parliament debated new government guidance on the teaching of Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) from 2020, including a debate on a petition calling for parents to be able to withdraw their children from RSE when it becomes statutory in 2020.

The draft guidance was developed in consultation with schools, parents, faith bodies and organisations with expertise in the field, and already provides for parents who wish to withdraw their child from sex education.

Coram Life Education (CLE) works in partnership with primary schools to make sure that children learn about the changes they will experience as they grow up, and to develop the knowledge, skills and strategies to enable them to respond to those changes in a way that is healthy and safe.

Harriet Gill, Managing Director of Education & Wellbeing at Coram, said:

“Children are more likely to feel empowered and safe from harm if they have healthy friendships, treat others with kindness and respect and are prepared for puberty. They need to understand the effects of drugs and alcohol and know how to use the internet responsibly.

As soon as children become curious about the world, they should be able to turn to the adults around them who feel equipped to respond in a positive and confident manner, with the facts, so that we normalise experiences of healthy relationships (including those with friends and family) both off and online, from an early age. To do otherwise is to risk keeping children ignorant of the facts, instead relying on potentially unreliable sources of information from friends or online.

It is important to dispel the myth that RSE can encourage early sexual activity. Research has consistently shown that children who have received good quality RSE are less likely to contract an STI, to have an early or unplanned pregnancy and are more likely to start having sex at an older age and use contraception.”

Coram Life Education’s approach is also supported by an overwhelming majority of parents who believe that relationships education (92% of parents support the teaching of PSHE education, including staying safe from abuse), should start as early as possible in a child’s life. With expert delivery in 1 in 9 UK primary schools, CLE offers Relationship Education and the SCARF programme that delivers the new statutory requirements with comprehensive, age-appropriate lesson plans, teacher guidance as well as sessions led by our educators.

For many children, being taught this subject can encourage disclosure of sexual abuse, and even prevent it. This is because children who learn about their bodies, including their rights regarding privacy, consent and body ownership, are more likely to identify when abuse has occurred and know where to go for help if something is happening that they are not comfortable with.

Harriet added:

“The Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, has recommended that schools implement the new guidelines from September 2019. It is vital that compulsory, age-appropriate Relationships Education is taught as part of the curriculum from an early age to give children a solid grounding in the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up so that they can make the right decisions and stay safe.”


Find out about our Relationships Education offer


Relationships and Sex Education – teaching children as early as possible how to form healthy relationships and stay safe

A significant step forward, but with missed opportunities

Ann Shallcross Dec 12, 2018
  Lisa Handy, Relationships Education Development Manager reflects on the implications of government draft guidance on Relationships Education for children and schools.   Coram Life Education works...
Read full post

Frizinghall School, Bradford's work with SCARF as a whole-school approach is featured in the local newspaper

Ann Shallcross Sep 25, 2018
We were delighted to see one of our SCARF schools, Frizhinghall in Bradford, featured in the Bradford Telegraph and Argus. Tim Palmer, Acting Deputy Head at Frizinghall, spoke to us in May about the w...
Read full post

Kim Johnson: Coram Life Education's new Chairman of Trustees on how quality PSHE, RSE and wellbeing lessons prepare children for life

Ann Shallcross Sep 25, 2018
Kim Johnson, former President of the NAHT (National Association of Head Teachers) has joined Coram Life Education as our Chairman of Trustees. We asked him how he heard about Coram Life Education and ...
Read full post

Why Coram Life Education is needed more than ever: a former Head's view

Ann Shallcross Aug 06, 2018
John Picket is a recently retired Primary School Head. Having been headteacher of five schools in the Essex area, he has had much experience of Coram Life Education's work and impact on the pupils he ...
Read full post

Government consultation on RSE, Relationships Education and Health Education

Ann Shallcross Jul 20, 2018
The DfE has published its consultation on statutory guidance on relationships education, relationships and sex education, and health education, inviting feedback until November 7th. You can read the G...
Read full post

Learning without limits: Using SCARF to create a whole-school approach to behaviour, safety and learning at Windhill21

Ann Shallcross Jul 20, 2018
  Coram Life Education's SCARF resources provide everything a school needs to create a whole-school approach to behaviour, safety and learning, based on the values of S – safety, C –  caring, ...
Read full post

Tomorrow's Achievers children's charity launch Saturday masterclasses for for curious minds inspired by the Rubik's Cube

Ann Shallcross May 25, 2018
Tomorrow’s Achievers, which is, like Coram Life Education, part of the UK’s oldest children’s charity Coram, has launched a series of new masterclasses for exceptionally able children to learn h...
Read full post

Using SCARF as part of a whole-school approach to behaviour, safety and learning: one school's journey

Ann Shallcross May 15, 2018
Coram Life Education's SCARF resources provide everything a school needs to create a whole-school approach to behaviour, safety and learning, based on the values of S - safety, C - caring, A - achieve...
Read full post

Harold the Giraffe helps Hempsted primary pupils learn life lessons as new programme rolls out

Ann Shallcross Apr 25, 2018
Pupils from Hempsted Primary School in Gloucester have been amongst the first to benefit from our new Relationships Educaiton programme aimed at improving children's mental resilience, wellbeing and l...
Read full post