Governors’ role in monitoring relationships and sex education (RSE)

Understand how to monitor relationships and sex education (RSE) in your school, including what makes good RSE and what questions to ask so you can challenge your school leaders effectively.

Last reviewed on 5 October 2023
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  1. Your responsibilities in RSE
  2. Your school’s RSE requirements 
  3. Know what high-quality RSE looks like 
  4. Questions to ask 
  5. Monitor RSE with sensitivity 
  6. Using RSE to take positive action 

Our governance experts Brendan Hollyer and David New helped us with this article. 

Your responsibilities in RSE

As a governor, it's your responsibility to monitor and make sure that:

  • All pupils make progress in achieving the expected educational outcomes
  • Your school is meeting its legal obligations to teach RSE with proper resources, staffing and timetables
  • RSE is well led, effectively managed and well planned
  • The quality of provision is subject to regular and effective self-evaluation
  • Teaching is accessible to all pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
  • Parents/carers receive clear information on the subject content and their right to withdraw their child from sex education

This is outlined in the 'Governors' section of the Department for Education's (DfE) statutory guidance

You're also responsible for reviewing your school's RSE policy. This includes making sure parents/carers, staff and pupils are consulted on any changes to the policy. 

Your school’s RSE requirements 

It's compulsory for primary school pupils