A radical shake up for primary and secondary schools in England is underway, with new subjects Relationships Education (and Sex Education if the school chooses) for primary school pupils and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) for secondary school pupils being made compulsory from September 2020.

These subjects will explore what it means to be human and what it means to be a person in community.

Central to Christians is the belief that all people are created in the image of God, which bestows an inalienable dignity and respect on all people. Therefore Christians, who worship the Triune God who is love and recognise that we are created in His image, believe that loving relationships are core to what it means to be human. 

Parents and carers have a crucial role to play in working with their local school to develop its Relationships Education policy. Even if your child does not attend a religious-character school, you should still have the opportunity to engage in the process. 

The Evangelical Alliance has produced a summary of the Government’s guidance on RSE and two short checklists,’ one for parents and one for schools. These are here to help you understand some of the key objectives of the subject guidance, explore some of the key issues, and summarise the responsibilities of both schools and parents. 

Hitherto, parents and carers have been able to opt their children out of Sex Education content they do not think is appropriate for their children. However, under the new guidance the new Relationships Education curriculum will be compulsory for all children in primary and secondary school in England. In secondary schools, Relationships and Sex Education will now have a diluted opt-out. 

A similar resource for secondary schools will be released shortly.

You can download the summary guide and the checklists below:

These new subjects present Christian parents and carers with challenges but also opportunities. This is a moment to share how we understand the love of God shapes who we are and the impact that has on how we relate to others.