The Department for Education is seeking schools to register as ‘early adopters’ of new PSHE education requirements relating to Health Education, Relationships Education and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and we encourage you to get involved – see below . It’s a good opportunity to inform the kind of training and resources you will need and should give you early access to support. Firstly, we wanted to recap on recent developments and quickly outline what they mean for you.

What does statutory Health Education and Relationships Education/RSE mean for PSHE?

The Health education and Relationships Education (primary) and the secondary Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) aspects of PSHE education will be compulsory in all schools from 2020. New statutory guidance was published in late February 2019.

This guidance outlines what schools must cover – though not all that schools should cover – in PSHE from 2020, and the DfE is clear that those of you currently teaching health and relationships to a high standard through broader PSHE education should continue to do so. And though not yet compulsory, teaching about economic wellbeing and careers will remain a core PSHE education theme.

Schools may also be confused by references in the government guidance to ‘new subjects’ to describe something they’re teaching already! However they should be assured that the health and RSE requirements simply outline which parts of PSHE will be compulsory for all schools.  The PSHE Associations updated mapping document shows how the PSHE Programme of Study covers, and exceeds, these new statutory requirements.

Register as an ‘early adopter’ of PSHE health & relationships requirements

The DfE is now recruiting ‘early adopters’ to assess how best to support you in covering these statutory areas of PSHE. We encourage as many of you as possible to get involved given the relevance of your skills and experience. According to the DfE, schools that register and are selected to take part will:

  • Help identify appropriate structures for training that will go out to teachers nationally
  • Receive advanced drafts of ‘school support products’
  • Be invited to attend a national DfE conference in the autumn (space permitting)

As with the guidance more broadly, the early adopter activities are not about unpicking what you’re already doing well, but incorporating the new statutory health, relationships and RSE guidance and requirements into the Programme of Study for PSHE education. Many of you will undoubtedly have read the new statutory guidance and thought ‘we’re doing most of this already’. 

To get more information check out the PSHE website.

Register as an ‘early adopter’ of PSHE health & relationships requirements


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