primary & secondary education

Implementing Effective and Inclusive Relationships Education in Primary Schools

primary & secondary education

08:45 - 16:40

Thursday 5 December 2019

Central London

Early Bird Discount Offer

10% off all advertised rates for a limited time only. Discount available to public / voluntary organisations only.


This Forum provides attendees with the opportunity to discuss the latest policy updates on the provision of Relationships Education in primary schools. Participants will explore recent statutory government reforms, and will engage with early-adopter schools to gain an insight from best practice schools on effectively training staff to deliver high quality relationships education, providing age-appropriate relationships education and working with parents to develop an inclusive curriculum which prepares pupils for the modern world.


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

  • Headteachers
  • Deputy Headteachers
  • Heads of RSE
  • Heads of PSHE
  • Assistant Headteachers
  • Heads of Safeguarding
  • PSHE Teachers
  • Pastoral Care Leads
  • Heads of Curriculum
  • Health and Wellbeing Leads
  • Relationships and Sex Education Teachers
  • Curriculum Managers

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

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Ian Bauckham CBE, Advisor to Department for Education on Improving Relationships and Sex Education
  • Jenny Barksfield, Deputy Chief Executive, PSHE Association 
  • Dr Eleanor Draeger, Senior Trainer, Sex Education Forum 
  • Victoria Pugh, Lecturer and Subject Lead for Primary PSHE and RSE, University of Worcester
  • David Stewart, Former Headteacher, Oak Field School 
View the agenda and additional speakers


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Victoria Pugh, Lecturer and Subject Lead for Primary PSHE and RSE, University of Worcester, and Author, How Exactly Can We Improve Teacher Confidence In RSE, And What Should We Be Teaching? (CONFIRMED)


Hot Seat: Examining the New Statutory Guidance on Relationships Education for Primary Schools

This ‘Hot Seat’ session will provide an opportunity for participants to ask Ian Bauckham CBE, Advisor, Department for Education direct questions regarding the ‘Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education Statutory Guidance’. This will ensure attendees have an opportunity to directly engage with the speaker to share concerns, request clarification, and enquire about the next stages of implementing a modern Relationships and Sex Education curriculum.

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


Case Study: Developing an Innovative and Engaging Curriculum to Deliver Outstanding RSE

  • Sharing guidance on developing an outstanding RSE curriculum delivered in regular ‘Living and Learning’ sessions contributing to personal development, social aspects and healthy relationships online and offline 
  • Working in partnership with Sphere Federation to ensure that the Safeguarding and the Child Protection policies are effective and that online safety and abuse are addressed in the PSHE and RSE curriculum
  • Understanding the link between Relationships Education and bullying, and how teaching about relationships and appropriate behaviours can prevent bullying
  • Adopting a spiral curriculum in which students revisit the same topic every year with a different angle and more complexity to ensure a better and deeper understanding of Relationships and Sexual Health issues

Clare Weekes, Head of School, Moortown Primary School (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Special Keynote: Sharing Guidance for Primary Schools to Deliver Outstanding Relationships and Sex Education

  • Promoting the ‘Roadmap to statutory RSE’, a 10-step interactive guide to support schools in delivering RSE by providing access to best practice cases, planning toolkits, curriculum design and audit tools
  • Offering CPD opportunities and bespoke training programmes for RSE teachers such as ‘Get Ready for Statutory!’ and specialist training for LGBT+ inclusive RSE like ‘Gender Matters’ and ‘Positive Sexual Health’, including other e-Learning courses
  • Advising on how to take a whole-community approach to teaching RSE by linking RSE to other policies such as the Safeguarding and Anti-Bullying policy, Health policy and Religious Education policy 
  • Sharing the success of RSE Day, the annual celebration of excellent RSE teaching, and illustrating how such events and activities improve the quality of RSE education and awareness in schools

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


Case study: Embedding Diverse and Inclusive Relationships and Sex Education in the Curriculum for SEND Pupils

  • Committing to the SEND Code of Practice and to the tenets of the Every Child Matters Agenda, to provide high-quality and inclusive RSE to ensure all pupils are equipped with the necessary skills to be safe
  • Forming a Relationships and Sex Education Monitoring Group involving parents, teachers and governors to supervise the delivery of RSE to 170 pupils with severe and complex learning and physical disabilities
  • Making RSE an integral part of a spiral curriculum, independent from Health Education, to ensure that sensitive issues are addressed to enable pupils to gain skills to improve self-protection and deal with life outside of school
  • Providing comprehensive programme of training and guided courses for parents and families to ensure parents feel confident and comfortable educating their children on RSE at home 
  • Becoming a leading provider of RSE for students with disabilities, from providing extensive staff training and leadership to tailoring lessons to specific and particular needs

David Stewart, Former Headteacher, Oak Field School (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Delivering Award-Winning Relationships and Sex Education Teaching

  • Incorporating RSE in the PSHE Education Policy to address and prevent issues such as bullying, sexual exploitation, the changes of puberty and unplanned teenage pregnancies as well as teach pupils how to  stay safe online
  • Taking a cross-curricular and spiral approach to delivering PSHE in three core, inter-related themes that are reviewed in more depth every year: Health and Wellbeing, Relationships, and Living in the Wider World
  • Providing CPD opportunities for PSHE teachers with a minimum of one-and-a-half-hour training per year, and addressing training needs in whole school INSET days to ensure that staff are able to deliver high quality Relationships Education
  • Consulting parents and carers to avoid withdrawals by offering bi-annual after-school workshops to inform parents about the RSE aspect of the PSHE curriculum and recommend materials to share with children at home

Isabel Reid, PSHE Education Coordinator, Carlton Hill Primary School (invited)

‘Best RSE Teacher 2019 in a Primary School’ – Sex Education Forum


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Implementing Inclusive Relationships Education which Contributes to the Safeguarding and Wellbeing of All Pupils

  • Implementing the new statutory guidance: Best practice in planning an inclusive programme
  • Key principles for effective teaching that meets all pupils’ needs
  • Support for schools: Quality assured resources and guidance materials

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


Case Study: Working in Partnership with Local Authorities to Implement an Innovative RSE Programme

  • Exploring Shropshire Council’s county-wide ‘Respect Yourself’ RSE programme, which provides a comprehensive, spiral, cross phase scheme of work and sharing lesson plans, resources, assessments and teacher’s guidance
  • Sharing the Council’s vision to link healthy eating, exercise and RSE in an innovative and cohesive way that addresses pupil health, safety and wellbeing in a broader RSE curriculum
  • Discussing how Trinity CE Primary School successfully adopted a whole-school approach to RSE that combines health and PSHE education, and is age-appropriate and inclusive of LGBT pupils whilst still reflecting Christian values
  • Becoming a Stonewall School Champion School after using DfE’s funded training to teach RSE in a way that celebrates diversity, promotes equality and tackles discrimination and LGBT bullying
  • Building effective partnerships with parents to facilitate parental support for RSE teaching through maintaining regular communication, providing parents with suitable books and leaflets on RSE and creating a ‘parent info zone’ containing online resources and tips on how to talk to children about sexual health

Miranda Ashwell, Public Health Programme Lead, Public Health, Shropshire Council (invited)

J Pittawa, Co-Headteacher, Trinity CE Primary School (invited)


Case study: Outlining the Importance of Outstanding Leadership and Management to Deliver High Quality RSE

  • Developing a comprehensive RSE policy that outlines the aims and objectives, content and delivery methods of the curriculum, including the role of parents, head of school and of the wider school and community in supporting RSE teaching 
  • Incorporating elements of e-safety in RSE to safeguard pupils from bullying and online exploitation, and working with members of the Local Health Authority to ensure a good delivery of the RSE programme
  • Promoting a transparent and supportive partnership with parents and carers by advising and keeping them informed via letters about the RSE Policy, and taking their concerns seriously in order to minimise the number of withdrawals from RSE lessons
  • Implementing an outstanding, organised and stimulating curriculum designed by senior leaders, teachers and parents resulting in positive pupil wellbeing and improved attendance

Sabrina Townsend, PSHE and Citizenship Leader, Kilmorie Primary School (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Taking a Whole-School Approach to Teaching Relationships Education

  • Teaching RSE and PSHE in a ‘Growing Up Skills’ forum as circle time and in ‘Philosophy4Children’ sessions aimed at encouraging deep, critical thinking skills and understanding across the whole curriculum
  • Achieving an outstanding rating for whole-school effectiveness by teaching healthy lifestyles and providing pastoral care in line with the new guidance 
  • Providing inclusive Relationships Education that teaches zero-tolerance for sexism, homophobia, and gender stereotypes, resulting in Dore being the only school in Sheffield to receive the Sheffield LGBT Charter Mark Award and becoming a leading school in Anti-Bullying and in Behaviour and Safety
  • Collaborating with mental health services as part of the ‘Healthy Minds’ project to support a whole-school approach to delivering RSE that improves emotional wellbeing by teaching about healthy friendships and relationships

Jason Fletcher, Deputy Headteacher, Inclusion Leader and Designated Safeguarding Lead, Dore Primary School (invited) 


Case Study: Delivering an Outstanding RSE Programme Which Teaches Sensitive Topics in an Age-Appropriate Way

  • Teaching RSE as part of the PSHE curriculum and in the ‘No Outsiders Programme’, which aims to create an ethos where everyone is welcome, regardless of differences
  • Sharing resources and guidance on how to teach sensitive subjects in an inclusive and age-appropriate way, in line with the Equality Act 2010 and with Ofsted’s inspection framework, including how to respond to difficult questions from pupils
  • Considering how to ensure parental engagement on teaching RSE, such as through running ‘No Outsiders workshops’, and how to address parental concerns
  • Providing strong resources and lesson plans included in the ‘No Outsiders Programme’ to support the delivery of RSE 

Andrew Moffat MBE, Assistant Headteacher, Parkfield Community School (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Panel Session: Delivering a Diverse and Inclusive Relationships Education Curriculum

  • Offering advice and evidence-based policy recommendations to create a diverse and inclusive curriculum that safeguards pupils and ensures mental wellbeing
  • Sharing best practice guidance to effectively teach Relationships and Sex Education in a way that is developmentally appropriate and in line with the Equality Act 2010
  • Discussing how to effectively consult and engage with parents, address ‘parental veto’ and respond to faith-based concerns
  • Linking RSE to mental wellbeing by ensuring subjects that impact mental health such as consent and sexual activity, keeping safe from sexual exploitation, online grooming, and sexually harmful behaviours, are addressed and taught in the curriculum

Zahrah Al-Bejawi, Education and Wellbeing Coordinator, Brook (invited)

Andrew Moffat MBE, Assistant Headteacher, Parkfield Community School (invited)


Chair's Summary and Close

*Programme subject to change

A recent poll by the NSPCC and National Education Union, July 2019, has found that 47% of teachers and leaders expressed a lack of confidence in their ability to delivery Relationships and Sex Education, and 52% were uncertain they would be able to deliver the subjects by next year. However, in June 2019, the government published the new statutory Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education, which outlined the requirement for all primary schools to teach relationships education as an integral part of the curriculum or within the PSHE programme, from September 2020. As per the new guidance, primary schools will be required to revise their curriculum to include teaching about LGBTQ+ families, understanding puberty, tackling sexism and homophobia, as well as mental health and keeping safe from bullying online and offline. 

Primary schools are not expected to teach sex education, but it is highly recommended to ensure the safeguarding and wellbeing of pupils from a young age. Yet, a survey from the National Children’s Bureau, 2018, suggests that out of 240 RSE teachers surveyed, 29% had received no training on RSE and 38% felt they had received inadequate training. Furthermore, Ofsted has published a new Education Inspection Framework, 2019, that will focus on assessing the curriculum, the behaviour and development of pupils as well as the quality of education received – which will be all affected by the new RSE curriculum. 

In light of the recent protests, schools now have a bigger duty to teach Relationships and Sex Education in an age-appropriate and inclusive way, and to ensure parents are fully aware of the information being taught, with respect to the backgrounds and beliefs of pupils and parents. It is imperative that schools prepare to delivery high-quality Relationships and Sex Education to create a safe school community that ensure the needs of all pupils are met. Additionally, schools will now be inspected on RSE as it plays a vital role in meeting the school’s safeguarding obligations and Ofsted’s standards of quality of teaching, and leadership and management. Hence, it is crucial for schools to be ready for September 2020, when Relationships Education in schools will become mandatory.

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