primary & secondary education

Delivering Outstanding Relationships and Sex Education

primary & secondary education

08:45 - 16:05

Wednesday 12 December 2018

The Hatton- etc Venues, Central London


This Forum provides attendees with the opportunity to hear the latest policy update on the provision of Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) in schools. Participants will hear from leading policy figures on the government reforms, including making RSE mandatory in all schools and providing an updated modern curriculum. Additionally, attendees will gain an insight of best practice in effectively training teachers to deliver the new subject, developing an age-appropriate and informative curriculum, and working in partnership to deliver high quality teaching and learning.


This Forum is specifically designed for Primary and Secondary Schools. Typical job titles will include:

  • PSHE Teachers
  • Heads of Departments
  • Headteachers
  • Deputy Headteachers
  • Relationships and Sex Education Teachers
  • Curriculum Leaders
  • Faculty Leaders for Humanities
  • School Improvement Officers

This Forum is also open to the Voluntary, Health and Local Government Sectors to encourage debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Ian Bauckham CBE, Advisor to Department for Education on Improving Relationships and Sex Education
  • Roary Pownall HMI, National Lead for Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship, Ofsted
  • Jenny Barksfield, Deputy Chief Executive, PSHE Association
  • Dr Eleanor Draeger, Senior Trainer, Sex Education Forum


View the agenda and additional speakers


Despite the fact that 99% of young people believe that Relationships and Sex Education should be mandatory in school, 1 in 7 of those surveyed by Terrace Higgins Trust in 2016 had not received this education. Furthermore, only half of teachers reported that sex education is being taught by trained staff in their schools, according to a 2017 survey by NAHT.

In December 2017, the government launched a consultation to establish how parents expect their children to be taught RSE in an age-appropriate way, what teachers feel they should be teaching their pupils, and what children think they would benefit from understanding the most. In addition, amid concerns the most recent relationship and statutory guidance in 2000 is outdated and fails to address growing risks to children such as online pornography, sexting and staying safe online, the government have committed to introducing new regulations to be implemented as soon as September 2019.

Consequently, from September 2020, RSE will become mandatory in all schools at primary and secondary level. Schools will be required to publish a clear statement outlining the content they will be teaching, and parents will still be offered the opportunity to withdraw their children from RSE lessons. Schools will also be awarded flexibility in the way that they teach RSE, in order to align with particular faiths. Primary RSE will need to focus on teaching how to build healthy relationships and secondary RSE will expand into more age-appropriate topics, such as sex education.

Draft guidance published in July 2018 proposes that consent, peer pressure and grooming will be taught within the new RSE curriculum. Teachers will be required to teach pupils what consent means, how to give it and recognise it in others, alongside teaching the laws concerning sexual exploitation, abuse, grooming and domestic abuse.

Many schools will be faced with the significant task of introducing an entirely new subject into the new curriculum, whilst others will be under pressure to amend their current RSE provision to meet new guidelines. Hence, it is imperative that schools learn how to properly train their teachers to deliver effective and informative RSE. Simultaneously, RSE curricula will be under scrutiny from parents to ensure that the information delivered is age-appropriate and taught in the correct manner. The onus now falls on schools and colleges to ensure that they are meeting statutory requirements and delivering effective, appropriate and informative sex and relationships education.

STIR research in 2015 foundthat 41% of young teenage girls surveyed have experience sexual violence and Barnados’ found that 3/4 of young people believe that RSE would make them feel safer. It is evident that an informative and effective RSE curriculum is required to ensure that children and young people are able to face the challenges presented by an increasingly technology-orientated world and equipped to make safe and informed choices.


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Dr Naomi Rudoe, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Westminster (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Considering the Future of Relationships and Sex Education

  • Discussing the proposed government reforms, including the decision to make RSE mandatory and the requirement for schools to publish a clear statement of policy and content
  • Exploring the results of the government consultation and discussing how this will impact both primary and secondary schools
  • Examining the draft regulations and guidance for RSE, including embedding lessons on consent and peer pressure into the curriculum
  • Highlighting the issues which children and parents feel are important to know about to feel safe and better prepared for life in the modern world

Ian Bauckham CBE, Advisor to Department for Education on Improving Relationships and Sex Education (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Inspecting the Quality of Relationships and Sex Education

  • Outlining the main criteria Ofsted consider when inspecting RSE provision in schools
  • Exploring the importance of safeguarding and inspecting how well prepared pupils are for life in modern Britain
  • Inspecting how effectively schools work with stakeholders to develop their provision for RSE
  • Considering the teaching of concepts such as consent, sexual exploitation, domestic abuse and the influence of media on relationships

Roary Pownall HMI, National Lead for Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship, Ofsted (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Taking an Innovative Approach to Teaching Relationships and Sex Education

  • Sharing insights into the award winning ‘Sex and History’ initiative
  • Using museum objects to deliver RSE and change the culture of talking about sex in the classroom by emphasising sex as a common and approachable topic
  • Developing a whole school approach to RSE by integrating the Sex and History initiative into the institutional culture and embedding RSE into a range of subject lessons
  • Creating a range of cross-curricular lesson plans which teach RSE through History, Drama, Philosophy and Media Studies, embedding it into the curriculum and maximising understanding
  • Accessing resources which use historical objects to discuss difficult topics such as gender roles, consent and LGBTQ+ identities
  • Allowing students to afford a safe distance from sensitive topics and involving as much emotion as they feel comfortable with

Professor Rebecca Langlands, Professor of Classics, University of Exeter, and Professor Kate Fisher, Professor of History, University of Exeter (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Collaborating with the Voluntary Sector to Deliver High Quality RSE

  • Accessing resources that support high quality RSE teaching, such as animated contraception videos and the Sexual Behaviours Traffic Light tool
  • Examining the Digital Romance project, which assesses the role of technology within young people’s relationships, and the key findings to integrate into RSE teaching
  • Sharing examples of successfully updating RSE policy within schools and creating clear and informative letters for parents outlining how RSE will be taught
  • Sharing best practice in teaching RSE and gaining an insight into innovative techniques, such as motivational interviewing, to increase pupil engagement and maximise understanding
  • Developing a Sex:Positive culture across institutions which deals with sex in an upfront way, encourages children and young people to discuss SRE issues more openly and listens to their needs

Helen Corteen, Head of Innovation and Partnerships, Brook (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Providing Inclusive and Informative Relationships and Sex Education Learning

  • Examining how to develop an effective curriculum and exploring appropriate content
  • Outlining what constitutes high quality, inclusive RSE teaching
  • Discussing the implications of teaching sensitive topics and how to overcome challenges in teaching them
  • Working as a partnership between home and school to build on respectful productive dialogues with parents

Jenny Barksfield, Deputy Chief Executive, PSHE Association (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Providing High Quality RSE Training to Enhance Learning

  • Ensuring a holistic whole-school approach to teaching RSE and providing relevant and informative training for all staff
  • Preparing staff for the implications of new legislation, such as teaching pupils how to recognize and give consent and ensuring pupil safety online
  • Outlining the 12 principles of good RSE teaching, including ensuring that teaching clearly informs pupils of their rights and access to support
  • Designing an inclusive curriculum which fosters LGBT and gender equality and ensures that they can meet the needs of disabled students

Dr Eleanor Draeger, Senior Trainer, Sex Education Forum (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Delivering Outstanding Sex and Relationships Education at Primary Level

  • Embedding PSHE as an important part of the curriculum and developing age-appropriate activities and lesson plans
  • Ensuring that all content is age-appropriate and exploring how to overcome challenges navigating how to teach difficult topics appropriately, such as responding to pupils challenging questions
  • Exploring how the school effectively engages with parents to build understanding of RSE
  • Training teachers to teach awareness among children of the dangers of being online and how to protect themselves on social media
  • Implementing effective online safety policies and practices across the schools to ensure pupils are fully aware of the issues, such as bullying, when using the internet at home or school

Helen Frostick, Headteacher, St. Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Primary School (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Delivering an Outstanding Relationships and Sex Education Curriculum

  • Providing an extensive and diverse RSE programme to across KS3 and KS4 covering a range of important topics, such as pornography, consent and e-safety
  • Sharing guidance on developing a coherent curriculum, with consistency across teaching, but which still allows for flexibility to respond to pupil needs
  • Training staff to deal with sensitive topics, respond well to student questioning and utilise physical resources effectively to teach RSE
  • Sharing innovative teaching resources and activities which can increase engagement and maximise understanding of sensitive topics in an age-appropriate way
  • Discussing the challenges teachers face in teaching effective RSE, such as having the confidence to discuss particular issues, and sharing guidance in overcoming this

Kim Constable, PSHE and Sociology Teacher, Wymondham College (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Promoting an Inclusive Relationships and Sex Education

  • Discussing how to ensure that inclusivity is clearly reflected in Relationships and Sex Education teaching, for example through providing non-gendered resources on consent
  • Sharing resources and teaching techniques which promote inclusivity and teach concepts such as mutual respect and diversity
  • Holding regular Sex Education Parent Information Evenings to consult with parents on how RSE is taught to pupils and respond to concerns
  • Outlining the importance of active learning in effective RSE teaching and how more interactive teaching can increase engagement and maximize understanding of sensitive topics
  • Discussing the importance of RSE learning for pupils with special education needs, including promoting full understanding of what constitutes healthy relationships

Louise Pope, Head of PSHE, Chew Valley School (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Close

*programme is subject to change

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