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Relationships & Sex Education Policy

Fakenham Academy – Relationships & Sex Education Policy

Responsibility for policy:  Assistant Principal, Teaching and Learning.

Updated: Every three years or as required.

Approval: Fakenham Academy Local Governing Body.

Date of approval: 7 October 2020.

Schools have a statutory duty to teach Relationships, Sex and Health Education from September 2020. Relationships and Sex Education aims to give young people the information they need to help them develop healthy, nurturing relationships of all kinds. Health Education aims to give young people the information they need to make good decisions about their own health and wellbeing. This builds upon Relationships and Sex Education, currently taught in secondary schools.

Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), and Health Education The Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019 are made under sections 34 and 35 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017, and provide that pupils receiving primary education must be taught Relationships Education, pupils receiving secondary education must be taught RSE and that all primary and secondary pupils must be taught Health Education. The new subjects of Relationships Education and RSE must be taught in all maintained schools, academies and independent schools. This includes pupil referral units, maintained special schools, special academies, and non-maintained special schools. All schools, except independent schools, must make provision for Health Education. To give effect to the duty in section 34 of the 2017 Act and the power in section 35 of that Act, the Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019 amend existing provisions in the Education Act 1996 and the Education Act 2002 and insert new provisions into the Education (Pupil Referral Units) (Application of Enactments) (England) Regulations 2007, the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 and the Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015. The new provisions include a requirement for the Secretary of State to publish guidance on Relationships Education, RSE, and Health Education; require schools to have regard to that guidance; require schools to make a statement of policy on their provision of Relationships Education and RSE; and set out the circumstances in which a pupil is to be excused from RSE. 

Relationships and Sex Education at Fakenham Academy will build upon the teaching of Relationships and Sex Education at primary school. It aims to give young people the information they need to help them develop healthy, nurturing relationships of all kinds. This will include content on what healthy and unhealthy relationships look like and what makes a good friend, colleague and successful marriage or committed relationship. At the appropriate time, the focus will move to developing intimate relationships, to equip the pupil with knowledge they need to make safe, informed and healthy choices as they progress through adult life. By the end of their time at Fakenham Academy, pupils will have been taught content on families, respectful relationships including friendships, online media, being safe and intimate and sexual relationships including sexual health.

Health Education at Fakenham Academy gives students the information they need to make good decisions about their own health and wellbeing, to recognise issues in themselves and others, and to seek support as early as possible when issues arise. By the end of their time at Fakenham Academy, pupils will have been taught content on mental wellbeing, internet safety and harms, physical health and fitness, healthy eating, drugs, alcohol and tobacco, health and prevention, basic first aid and the changing adolescent body.

Parents/carers cannot withdraw their child from Health Education or the Relationships Education element of Relationships and Sex Education. If a parent does not want their child to take part in some or all of the Sex Education lessons delivered at Fakenham  Academy, they can ask that they are withdrawn. Fakenham Academy’s Principal will consider this request and discuss it with the parent/carer, and will grant this in all but exceptional circumstances up until three school terms before the pupil turns 16. At this age, the pupil can choose to receive Sex Education if they would like to, and Fakenham Academy will arrange for the pupil to receive this teaching in one of those three terms unless there are exceptional circumstances. The science curriculum at Fakenham Academy follows the national curriculum including content on human development including reproduction, from which there is no right to request that a pupil is withdrawn.

Consultation took place with parents at Fakenham Academy in March 2020, as part of the process of implementation of the teaching of Relationships, Sex and Health Education from September 20202. The structure of teaching Relationships, Health and Sex Education at Fakenham Academy from September 2020 is as follows:

YearRelationships and Sex EducationHealth Education
7Families.
Respectful relationships, including friendships. (Content on stereotypes relating to sex, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation and disability).
Changing adolescent body (including puberty and the implications for emotional and physical health). 
Internet safety and harms.
8Respectful relationships, including friendships.Physical health and fitness.
Basic first aid.
9Online and media (including content on issues related to sexually explicit material).
Intimate and sexual relationships, including sexual health. (Content on contraception and STIs).
Health and prevention.
Healthy eating.
10Being safe.
Intimate and sexual relationships, including sexual health.
Drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
Mental wellbeing.
11Being safe.
Intimate and sexual relationships, including sexual health.
Drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
Mental wellbeing.

This teaching will be delivered as part of the Learning for Life curriculum, and will be monitored and evaluated as part of Fakenham Academy’s quality assurance programme. This will be supported by teaching in additional subject areas, where specialisms allow specific content to be integrated into teaching. Teaching will also be supplemented by form time activities, forming part of the whole school spiritual, moral, social and cultural provision. Topics will be revisited and interleaved over academic years, in order to promote the long term learning of students. Teaching resources will be used which are appropriate for the age of the pupils being taught, and in line with the specific teaching and learning requirements detailed in the Learning for Life curriculum documentation. Differentiated resources will be used in the delivery of teaching. Many organisations actively promote external resources to schools. These resources will be carefully assessed, to ensure they are age appropriate, meet the outcome of the relevant part of the curriculum, and are in line with the school’s legal duties in relation to impartiality. Fakenham Academy will not under any circumstances use resources produced by organisations that take extreme political stances on matters. Specifc details of the delivery of Relationships, Health and Sex Education at Fakenham Academy are available in the Learning for Life currciculum documentation, a copy of which is available upon request. External agencies may be invited into school to supplement the delivery of specific topics. If this is the case, Fakenham Academy will engage with agencies to ensure their approach to teaching about relationships education, relationships and sex education and health education is balanced and the resources they intend to use are age-appropriate and aligned to the developmental stage of the pupils being taught. Fakenham Academy will exercise their judgement reasonably, in line with their legal responsibilities, in the selection of providers and resources to be used. They will exercise extreme caution when working with external agencies and proceed only if they have full confidence in the agency, its approach and the resources it uses. Fakenham Academy will not under any circumstances work with external agencies that take or promote extreme positions or use materials produced by such agencies.