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Etonbury Academy

RSE (Relationships and Sex Education)

What is relationship and sex education? 

Relationship and sex education is learning about the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up, relationships, sex, human sexuality and sexual health. Some aspects are taught in science, and others are taught as part of personal, social, health, citizenship and economic education (PSHCE) or in form time 'Personal Development' sessions. 

A comprehensive programme of RSE provides accurate information about the body, reproduction, sex, and sexual health. It also gives children and young people essential skills for building positive, enjoyable, respectful and non-exploitative relationships and staying safe both on and offline. 

Why is RSE in schools important? 

High quality RSE helps create safe school communities in which pupils can grow, learn, and develop positive, healthy behaviour for life. It is essential for the following reasons: 

  • Children and young people have a right to good quality education, as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • Children and young people want to be prepared for the physical and emotional changes they undergo at puberty, and young people want to learn about relationships. Older pupils frequently say that relationship and sex education was ‘too little, too late and too biological’. Ofsted reinforced this in their 2013 Not Yet Good Enough report. 
  • RSE plays a vital part in meeting schools’ safeguarding obligations. Ofsted is clear that schools must have a preventative programme that enables pupils to learn about safety and risks in relationships. 
  • Schools maintain a statutory obligation under the Children Act (2004) to promote their pupils’ wellbeing, and under the Education Act (1996) to prepare children and young people for the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities of adult life. 

Etonburys comprehensive RSE programme aims to have a positive impact on our pupils’ health, wellbeing and their ability to achieve, which can play a crucial part in meeting these obligations. The Department of Health set out its ambition for all children and young people to receive high quality RSE in the Sexual Health Improvement Framework (2013), while the Department for Education’s paper ‘The Importance of Teaching’ (2010) highlighted that ‘Children need high quality RSE so they can make wise and informed choices’. 

Further information about the evidence base for RSE can be found in ‘Does RSE work?’ and other Sex Education Forum briefings, at:

If you have any further questions please go to the Government website of frequently asked questions: or alternatively you can email Mrs Gant: 


Please see below a summary of RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) teaching for all year groups.  Etonbury's RSE Policy can be found by following this link to our policy page.