Have you heard about the Roadmap to Statutory RSE? What about the Sex Education Forum?
The Sex Education Forum (SEF) is a group of partners working together to achieve quality relationships and sex education (RSE) for all children and young people. Amazing!
SEF, like us at Loudmouth Education and Training, understand that the journey towards statutory RSE can seem a little daunting and confusing.
So, they have co-produced, with the PSHE Association, a clear and concise poster called the 'Roadmap to Statutory RSE' providing 10 steps to support school leaders in preparing to provide high quality RSE. These 10 steps are based on established good practice and evidence.
But… what are the steps?
Step 1 – Be clear about the facts
Make sure you are aware who the statutory guidance is aimed at, what is included, and which parts are relevant to your school. It is important to have an awareness of the law relating to relationships and sex. Also, be aware of what needs to be included in the school policy on RSE and parents’ rights of withdrawal.
Step 2 – Allocate leadership
Decide who is going to oversee the changes needed to comply with the statutory guidance. The right person to lead RSE at the school is a teacher who is passionate and enthusiastic about RSE and who wants to take on the responsibility. RSE programmes will be most successful in schools where leadership and governors fully understand its importance and work closely with the RSE lead. You’re all in this together!
Step 3 – Assess where you are now
Assess the current RSE provisions that your school provides, and how far your school already meets the guidance. Consider using the SEF whole school RSE audit tool to quickly identify areas of weakness and strength in your RSE provision, which is based on a set of best practice criteria mapped against a whole school approach.
Step 4 – Understand pupil needs
Use local data and consultation activities to ensure that the RSE provisions meet the needs of pupils. You may also want to conduct a pupil needs assessment. Consider using brainstorm activities to ascertain what the most important RSE topics are to your students. Grab those highlighter pens and flipchart paper!
Step 5 – Refresh policy
An RSE policy will be required in all schools. It should set out your whole school approach and make links with school ethos and values, safeguarding policies and The Equality Act 2010. The SEF provide a step-by-step guide to updating your school RSE policy, which could be helpful for your school. Check it out here.
Step 6 – Review curriculum
Make sure that the RSE curriculum is comprehensive and responsive to pupil needs. You will need to identify any gaps in the curriculum and edit accordingly. Make sure it is balanced with skills, knowledge and personal attribute development. To be effective, RSE should always be taught within a broader PSHE education programme. RSE enhances and is enhanced by learning around, for example, online safety, anti-bullying, mental health, drugs and alcohol, and the development of skills and attributes such as risk management, resilience and decision making.
Step 7 – Update curriculum
Regular updates will make sure your programme is inclusive, engaging and reflects current real-life issues (including the digital world which we know changes at a very past pace!). Continue to check with pupils as to whether the current programme is meeting their needs. Consult other resources and lesson plans, such as those found on our website, to refresh your programme.
Step 8 – Equip your staff
In order to achieve a whole school approach to RSE, ALL staff will have a role to play and many will need specialist training. You need to ensure that relevant and effective training is provided so the needs of the staff are met. This may include bringing in external organisations to deliver training, which we offer at Loudmouth Education and Training!
Step 9 – Prepare to review and evaluate
Effective monitoring is an ongoing process that checks the degree to which a programme, course or scheme of work is being effectively implemented, and it will be essential to a successful RSE programme. Schools should ensure a process is in place to check that the lesson or unit of work is effective and worthwhile.
Step 10 – Communicate
Ensure there are mechanisms in place for ongoing dialogue with parents, staff, governors, and pupils. This could be through consultation meetings, surveys, or email exchange. Continually sharing information and plans will go a long way to building trust and community, and, importantly, an effective RSE programme!
So hopefully that road is looking a bit clearer ahead now.
At Loudmouth we want to continue to help schools and teachers to develop a comprehensive, inclusive and engaging RSE programme; that is why we are developing a series of blog posts to help break down the guidance and offer support along the journey to RSE 2020. You can sign up here to get loads of free updates and resources from Loudmouth to help.