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Education in the Media: RSE announcement

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Yesterday, the department announced plans for new relationships and sex education and health education to prepare all young people for modern life. This has been welcomed by a number of organisations, see a selection of just some of the comments below:

Sarah Champion MP said:

This guidance will help them to navigate the modern world and better cope with the demands and risks it brings. I particularly welcome the teaching of respect and tolerance for all primary school children the building blocks of any healthy relationship and vital for child protection.

The Association of School and College Leaders said:

ASCL welcomes the government’s proposals on relationships and health education as these are critical issues for young people in navigating an increasingly complex world… the new guidance on relationships and sex education will be enormously helpful given that it was last updated 18 years ago. The proposals on mental health education are of great importance in a society in which young people face multiple pressures.

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said:

Adding CPR to the curriculum in England will mark a defining moment in improving the UK’s shockingly low survival rates from cardiac arrests.

Barnardo’s Chief Executive, Javed Khan said:

We welcome the proposed guidance, and its focus on the issues Barnardo’s has campaigned for such as consent, healthy relationships and staying safe online. We are pleased to see emotional, reproductive and mental health included as requested by our young service users.

The Church of England’s Chief Education Officer, Revd Nigel Genders, said:

We look forward to engaging with the Government’s consultation, and will support the development of relationships and health education as a compulsory subject. It is vital that this area is properly resourced with high quality training for the teachers who will deliver it.

Tom Madders, Director of Campaigns at YoungMinds, said:

Children and young people face a huge range of pressures, from exam stress to cyberbullying to concerns about body image – and all the evidence suggests rates of anxiety and stress are on the rise.

That’s why it’s crucial that all young people are taught about mental health from a young age, learning what makes them feel good or bad and what to do if they’re struggling to cope. Dedicated lessons on relationships, sex and the online world are an important step forward, and schools also need the resources and recognition to prioritise wellbeing in everything they do.

Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield, said:

Plans for compulsory education on mental health, wellbeing & resilience as well as sex & relationships in all schools are v welcome & have the potential to really help children navigate the increasingly complex world they’re growing up in.


Read the the news story on yesterday’s announcement here.

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