Many of you have asked whether the coronavirus and school closures would have an impact on the introduction of statutory Relationships Education, RSE and Health Education from September.
The Department for Education issued an update (see document below) and asked us to share it with our network.
In summary, the statutory requirement to provide these aspects of PSHE education is still in place from September, and schools should continue to prepare for this date where possible. Indeed, many schools are already offering high quality PSHE that covers, and exceeds, statutory content or will be prepared to do so by the beginning of the new school year. However, due to the coronavirus and closures, schools who are not in a position to implement fully from September have been granted some leeway — and now have until Summer term 2021 to do so.
In such cases, the DfE suggests a phased approach to ensure teaching begins as soon as possible, and that schools should consider prioritising curriculum content on mental health and wellbeing, as supporting their own and others’ wellbeing will be important for pupils as they return to school (and our mental health materials will support you with this task).
We have campaigned long and hard for statutory status, so are delighted to still be on course for September but at the same time fully agree with the DfE that the option of delay in a minority of cases is sensible given the extremely unusual position schools find themselves in and the pressures on them to adapt.
Irrespective of statutory expectations PSHE education will be a key part of the ‘recovery curriculum’ throughout the 2020/21 academic year, and you will play a vital role in supporting your children and young people to get back on their feet. We will continue to support you to offer your pupils the best help you can during this time of greater need, and beyond, while helping you and your school to make the most of statutory changes.