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What is the aim of Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) in secondary schools?

The aim of RSE is to give young people the information needed to develop healthy, nurturing relationships of all kinds, not just intimate relationships. Effective RSE does not encourage early sexual experimentation but teaches young people to understand human sexuality and respect themselves and others.  Knowledge about safer sex and sexual health remains important to ensure young people can make safe, informed and healthy choices as they progress to adult life. Pupils should also be given opportunities to understand how healthy relationships can benefit their own mental wellbeing and self-respect. 

 

There should be opportunities for pupils to learn about the laws surrounding sex, sexuality, sexual health and gender identity which should be delivered in an age appropriate and inclusive way. The laws around a variety of other issues should be considered which include: marriage, consent, pornography, abortion, radicalisation and gangs. 

 

There should also be opportunities to learn about grooming, sexual exploitation and domestic abuse which should include addressing coercive and controlling behaviour. The physical and emotional damage that can be caused by female genital mutilation (FGM) should also be addressed. Schools should continue to work closely with parents when planning and delivering RSE.

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