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Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE)

Primary: Relationships and Health Education (RHE)

Secondary: Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE)

Previously Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE); a non-statutory Framework for schools developed in 2000.

Relationships and Health Education (RHE) teaching and primary level and,  Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) at St Luke's School teach the statutory requirements.   Here you will find information on what we teach and our ongoing consultation with staff, parents and carers as required by Ofsted and the DfE. 

Notably, schools are required to consult with parents on their curriculum regarding Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and LGBTQ matters.

Secretary of State: Purpose of the new Curriculum for Relationships, Sex and Health Education

Purpose of the new Curriculum (From the Secretary of State) 2020

Click here for the Government guidance on RSHE: Relationships, Sex and Health Education 

Relationships and Health Education (primary) and Relationships, Sex and Health Education (secondary) is to be in place from 2020. Previously it was Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) a non-statutory Framework for schools developed in 2000.

Today’s children and young people are growing up in an increasingly complex world and living their lives seamlessly on and offline. This presents many positive and exciting opportunities, but also challenges and risks. In this environment, children and young people need to know how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their academic, personal and social lives in a positive way.

This is why Relationships Education has been made compulsory in all primary schools in England and Relationships and Sex Education compulsory in all secondary schools, as well as making Health Education compulsory in all state-funded schools.

Our guiding principles have been that all of the compulsory subject content must be age appropriate and developmentally appropriate. It must be taught sensitively and inclusively, with respect to the backgrounds and beliefs of pupils and parents while always with the aim of providing pupils with the knowledge they need of the law.

In primary schools: key building blocks of healthy, respectful relationships, focusing on family and friendships, in all contexts, including online. This will sit alongside the essential understanding of how to be healthy.

At secondary: build on the knowledge acquired at primary and develop further pupils’ understanding of health, with an increased focus on risk areas such as drugs and alcohol, as well as introducing knowledge about intimate relationships and sex.

Teaching about mental wellbeing is central to these subjects, especially as a priority for parents is their children’s happiness. We know that children and young people are increasingly experiencing challenges, and that young people are at particular risk of feeling lonely. The new subject content will give them the knowledge and capability to take care of themselves and receive support if problems arise.

All of this content should support the wider work in helping to foster pupil wellbeing and develop resilience and character that we know are fundamental to pupils being happy, successful and productive members of society. Central to this is pupils’ ability to believe that they can achieve goals, both academic and personal; to stick to tasks that will help them achieve those goals, even when the reward may be distant or uncertain; and to recover from knocks and challenging periods in their lives. This should be complemented by development of personal attributes including kindness, integrity, generosity, and honesty.

These subjects represent a huge opportunity to help our children and young people develop. The knowledge and attributes gained will support their own, and others’, wellbeing and attainment and help young people to become successful and happy adults who make a meaningful contribution to society

St Luke's Consultation  on RSE and LGBT+ matters: Information for Parents and Carers

Parents and carers have the right to withdraw their child from aspects of sex education within our Personal Development curriculum (though not statutory science teaching) up until 3 terms prior to their child’s 16th birthday. If you should wish to exercise this right, please do get in touch via email ( as soon as possible so we are able to discuss the options available.

Updated Consultation Materials July 2021

St Luke's Relationships and Sex Education Policy (April 2021)

Our consultation information for Parents and Carers PDF of slides (Updated July 2021)

Our consultation information for Parents and Carers Powerpoint with notes (Updated July 2021)

Personal Development Planning Framework (Updated July 2021)

Personal Development Curriculum Maps: Two/Three Yearly Cycles (Updated July 2021)

Consultation Questionnaire on RSE Curriculum and Policy (Updated July 2021)

Current policy updated and due for review August 2025.


Further work with EP research on RSHE in special school settings.

We worked with Natalie Carpenter, Trainee Education Psychologist UCL, to review the thoughts, ideas, issues and solutions of teaching and learning about sex and relationships.  This work was significant in its remit to consider the pupils and their parents in special school settings. 


Developing a Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) Working Group in A Special School Using Participatory Action Research (PAR)

Natalie Carpenter-Trainee Educational Psychologist-IoE-UCL

RSE has historically lacked guidance for all learners, however learners with SEND have been historically disregarded, infantilised, villainised or overprotected.  Parents and staff are restrained by narrow materials which struggle to address nuanced socio-cultural factors, attitudes and beliefs. Research calls professionals to work collaboratively to allow the participation of all stakeholders.  This study aimed to explore the use of a working party, planned by PATH to address the needs of staff relating to RSE in a participatory, coproduced and collaborative manner.


Key Findings                                 Implications


The Research


RSE has undergone recent legislative changes, meaning that all schools were required to deliver RSE as a statutory requirement from September 2020. Relationships and sex education (RSE) for those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) is a complex and historically disregarded area.  Parents and staff often grapple with the myriad of socio-cultural factors and range of attitudes and beliefs.  Research calls for professionals to work collaboratively, allowing the participation of all stakeholders, however there is little guidance to inform frameworks which support this way of working.


This study aims to explore and evaluating how an RSE working group can be developed using Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope (PATH), guided by the views of parents, staff and pupils in an effort to provide a participatory, collaborative, person-centred way of working.


This exploratory ethnographic case study used participatory action research (PAR) and adopted a range of qualitative methods. The group member’s perceptions of the group, the use of PATH and the role of an EP in the group were explored though semi-structured interviews.  The views of parents and staff were gained by using computer based surveys, while more in depth views were gained through parent interviews and pupil surveys.  The process of forming the group and the reflections of the researcher were recorded through field notes and a collection of artefacts.


  • Staff, parents and pupil’s views revealed a variety of attitude to RSE, a call for more pupil and parent partnership and participation, variations in staff confidence and levels of training and a variety of key areas for pupils with SEND.
  • The group provide various functions and purpose including planning and a safe place for time to think.  Group members recognised positive outcomes including transferability, fresh ideas and impact on practice.  They noted factors that facilitated change including the EP, legislative changes and the commitment of the group. Factors that required resilience included the demands of school life, Covid-19 and historical systemic issues.
  • The EP provided a unique knowledge of change, facilitation and a range of expertise in the form of knowledge of evidence-based and practice-based knowledge.  They also brought their skills in relation to research. 
  • The use of PATH allowed for motivational starting point, allowing contributors to realise new ways of working and enact collaborative, participatory practice.  Participants were provided with a ‘circuit breaker’ in thinking, affording them to engage in a ‘future thinking’ structured way.

PATH provided a structured, collaborative, participatory person-centred framework to plan for the group, which provided a safe space for staff to support planning for RSE and contemplating key issues.   The group allowed for the development of staff practice and supported organisational change.  The EPs range of knowledge and skills was pivotal in planning, facilitating and supporting the group.  Studies were heavily impacted by the effects of Covid-19 and limited by the difficulties engaging parents of pupils with SEND. 


Working groups, planned for with PATH should be considered by schools as viable framework for addressing the complexity of RSE with SEND pupils.  EPs should consider the importance of this kind of systemic work and offer it to schools.  Implementation over time should be examined.

As an outcome, our school is addressing the use of PATH in refining and framing our reflective work on SEND RSHE teaching.


Current Policy for Relationships and Sex Education

Relationships and Sex Education forms part of our Relationships, Sex and Health Education, which in turn is part of our Personal Development curriculum.  The school's policy on Relationships and Sex Education is below:

Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) Review August 2025

 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) relationships 

In lower school, we cover LGBT relationships in modules such as;

  • CHANGING AND GROWING: Different types of relationships and,
  • THE WORLD I LIVE IN: respecting differences between people.

Middle School delivers:

  • SELF AWARENESS: Prejudice and discrimination,
  • MANAGING FEELINGS: Romantic Feelings and Sexual Attraction,
  • CHANGING AND GROWING: Romantic Relationships and Consent, 
  • CHANGING AND GROWING: Long term Relationships and Parenthood, 
  • THE WORLD I LIVE IN: Diversity, rights and responsibilities

Upper School, LGBT matters are covered in topics such as; 

  • SELF AWARENESS: Prejudice and discrimination,  
  • MANAGING FEELINGS: Romantic Feelings and Sexual Attraction, 
  • CHANGING AND GROWING: Romantic Relationships and Consent, and 
  • CHANGING AND GROWING: Long term Relationships and Parenthood.

Faith Schools - for comparison

Faith Schools

For comparison, faith schools are also required to teach about Sex Education.  These sites may be of interest to you:  

Relationship & Sex Education ( (CofE)