Relationships, Sex and Health Education has been a statutory part of both primary and secondary education in England since 2021.

The guidance was updated in 2021 for secondary schools and is constantly evolving, updating, and adapting to the changing needs of schools, students and society. Managing relationships in a digital world is a new challenge facing many young people these days, meaning that as educators, we need to make sure we support and prepare young people for adult life as well as possible.

Group of teenagers sat on wall together

The aim of RSE is to give young people the information they need to help them develop healthy, nurturing relationships of all kinds, not just intimate relationships. It should enable them to know what a healthy relationship looks like and what makes a good friend, a good colleague and a successful marriage or other type of committed relationship.

It should also cover contraception, developing intimate relationships and resisting pressure to have sex (and not applying pressure). It should teach what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in relationships.

This will help pupils understand the positive effects that good relationships have on their mental wellbeing, identify when relationships are not right and understand how such situations can be managed. This resource will outline a range of links, strategies, ideas, resources (local and national) and try to help Torbay educators to navigate what can be a taboo issue at times.  

News items

A survey of 1,002 young people aged 16-17 in England carried out by Census wide between 2 and 13 December 2022, and commissioned by the Sex Education Forum, reveals broken promises in relationships and sex education, which leave young people unprepared for modern challenges. 

  • Three years after the Government introduced statutory RSE, only 40% of young people rate their lessons as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. Meanwhile, nearly one in five (18%) still say their in-school RSE is bad or very bad.
  • Students report that they do not learn enough about today’s most pressing issues, including pornography (58%), LGBTQ+-relevant information (54%), and healthy relationships (54%).
  • While 44% of respondents agreed that what they learned in RSE had helped them and 42% said the content felt relevant to them, over a quarter still felt lessons were neither relevant (26%) nor helpful (27%).

For more on this: Young People's RSE Poll 2022 |

What do young people want from SRE?

The needs of your students will always vary but a broad and inclusive curriculum can really support students to make a positive transition from the primary years into the teenage years and into adulthood.

This report from the Sex Education Forum (SEF) summarises research done and offers some insight into what is useful, needed and badly wanted by young people aged 11-25 in the UK.

What do you think young people will say about the SRE received from your school or setting?