Last reviewed on 4 October 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 41583

Get a summary of the requirements to teach relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education, which differ for primary and secondary schools. Find out what you’re expected to cover, and details on parents' right to withdraw their children from sex education.

Your school's requirements

All schools with a secondary phase (including all-through and middle schools) need to provide:

  • Relationships and sex education (RSE)
    • This replaced the former need to provide sex and relationships education (SRE), but this is more about formalising the expectations than radically changing what your school teaches
  • Health education
    • Your school probably already covered parts of this in personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education

This is set out in the Department for Education's (DfE) statutory guidance on relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education.

Your school must have an RSE policy

You need an up-to-date policy in place for RSE, and you must consult parents when you review or change it.

This requirement is outlined in sections 8 to 12 of the Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019. We clarified with the DfE what the written