The DfE has recently (16th May) released the long-awaited draft of updated guidance on Relationships, Sex, and Health Education (RSHE) for schools in England. This draft aims to update the existing framework, ensuring it meets the evolving needs of children in a rapidly changing world. As with the current document, which was launched in 2019, there is now a public consultation period, inviting feedback from educators, parents, stakeholders, and children and young people.

Russell Stanley of the S4S School Health & Wellbeing Service summarises some of the considerations the release of this draft guidance creates for schools this academic year:

· Don’t change your provision yet! The draft guidance does NOT replace the existing statutory RSHE guidance document, so schools do not need to change their current policies or practice if it complies with current statutory guidance

· Give your opinion! The public consultation period end on 11th July; please share and respond to ensure that the needs and opinions of your school community are represented, especially those of your pupils

· Communicate with parents! Take the opportunity to update parents and carers on this development. Parental engagement around RSHE is a cornerstone of effective practice and should be an ongoing process in order to create a partnership approach to RSHE and address any misconceptions. Inform your staff, too!

· Be ready! – Once the consultation ends in July, the DfE will consider feedback and then create a final updated guidance document. There has been no confirmation of when this will become legally required, and it would be expected that schools will have a period of time to implement any changes and update their wider PSHE education programmes. It is also a good time to consider the training needs of staff now too.


The DfE’s updated draft RSHE guidance represents a potentially significant shift in a number of topic areas covered across primary and secondary phase. The proposed addition of new statutory learning (e.g. vaping, knife crime, road safety) is certainly welcome, although the implementation of ‘age-restrictions’ for teaching certain topics is hotly debated. Whatever the final guidance version looks like, it will undoubtedly impact on existing planning and resources being used in schools.

For help and advice with any aspect of statutory RSHE, the S4S School Health & Wellbeing Service has a range of services, including training, to support schools in providing high-quality and effective RSHE and wider PSHE education.

Useful links and further training support

You can find see the new draft RSHE guidance here: 

  Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education guidance 

You can respond to the guidance via the consultation survey here: 

Review of the RSHE statutory guidance - Department for Education - Citizen Space 


Linked Training

June 24 - Bitesize CPD Top Tips for Engaging with Parents

https://bookwhen.com/s4swd/e/ev-s4v1-20240626154500 - Booking link 


You can find out about our current training offer around RSHE themes here: 

Online Training Sessions


#rshe #rse #pshe #services4schools #schoolhealth&wellbeing

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