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Coram Life Education welcomes DfE consultation on relationships and sex education

Ann Shallcross Jan 16, 2018

Coram Life Education, which delivers Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education to one in eight UK primary schools, supports the Department for Education’s plans to consult on the best way to deliver effective Relationships and Sex Education (RSE).

As RSE is compulsory in all schools from 2019, the eight week consultation will help shape the education to equip children with the knowledge and skills to stay safe and to know when and how to ask for help.




Digital technology can provide vital information and sources of support but can also give young people access to inappropriate content like online pornography, sexting, and fake and dangerous advice and myths. Coram Life Education’s teaching resources are used by half a million children in over 2,000 schools and the recently launched comprehensive Relationships Education programme reflects current Department for Education (DfE) guidance. The online Key Stage 1 and 2 programme will be updated following the consultation and will help primary schools meet statutory requirements to deliver Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) from 2019. 

Coram Life Education’s Managing Director of Education & Wellbeing, Harriet Gill, said:

“Coram Life Education welcomes the DfE consultation. It will provide parents, teachers, young people, service providers and policy makers with a platform to share views and evidence of what works. When delivered by confident teachers in discussion with pupils, RSE is an enriching, empowering experience, based on pupils’ right to education that helps them navigate a complex real and virtual world and to stay safe in the process”. 

“In our experience, the earlier children are equipped with skills and strategies to remain resilient in adult life the better. When we researched schools’ readiness for statutory RSE, more than a third said they needed additional support to teach the subject. Our expertise in primary education led us to create the Relationships Education programme, helping children develop healthy friendships and relationships, learn about body ownership, consent, identifying safe and unsafe touch, puberty and reproduction and staying safe online.” 

Coram Life Education’s Relationships Education programme covers all primary school years from an early stage, as the teaching of safety, body ownership, private parts of the body, distinguishing types of touch and types of secrets helps protect children and may increase the disclosure of abuse.*** The age-appropriate lesson themes reflect the needs and requirements of young people themselves.** Our research showed that the big issues for children are friendship issues, low self-esteem, body image and sharing inappropriate images or images without consent. Content was developed from insight through the charity’s research with primary school head teachers, many of whom are delivering aspects of RSE now. However, two thirds said they needed more guidance on statutory requirements.*

The Relationships Education programme was funded by specialist insurer Ecclesiastical and is now available in the 2,000 schools delivering Coram Life Education, and is accessible to any primary school subscribing to ‘SCARF’, the charity’s online wellbeing resource. 

Coram Life Education’s Managing Director of Education & Wellbeing, Harriet Gill is available for comment. 

For further press information please contact Ruth Stivey, Communications Manager, on 020 7520 0408 / ruth.stivey@coram.org.uk 

Notes to Editors

*Research conducted by Coram Life Education and Ecclesiastical, comprising a survey and focus groups conducted amongst 85 head teachers, PSHE co-ordinators and teachers responsible for delivering SRE throughout the UK.

Read the full findings here.

**In developing the programme, young people’s feedback was captured through The Sex Education Forum, the leading authority on Sex and Relationships Education.

***As evidenced in the Cochrane Review, 2014, available at Cochrane Review 2014.

About Coram Life Education

Part of the Coram group of charities, Coram Life Education (CLE) is the UK’s leading provider of high quality Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education, reaching 1 in 8 primary schools across the UK.

SCARF is CLE’s online resource which enables teachers to access over 200 easy to use PSHE curriculum based lessons, with useful planning tools.

Find out more at www.coramlifeeducation.org.uk/relationships-education

About Ecclesiastical, sponsors of the project 

Owned by a registered charity, Allchurches Trust, Ecclesiastical is a specialist insurer of the charities, education, faith, heritage, fine art and private client sectors. Ecclesiastical is one of the UK’s top five corporate givers to charity according to the 2016-2017 UK Guide to Company Giving. It has donated more than £67million to good causes in the last four years. 

Find out more at www.ecclesiastical.com