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As a part of a child’s education at Forest Hill School, we promote personal wellbeing and development through a comprehensive Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship and Economic (PSHCE) education programme. PSHCE education is the subject that gives young people the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and practical skills to live safe, healthy, productive lives and meet their potential.
It is also hugely important in terms of safeguarding young people from a variety of negative external influences – we strongly believe that informing young people about the world around them in an open, honest and inclusive way allows them to make sensible and informed decisions that will keep them safe and happy both now and in the future.
As of September 2021 (pushed forward from September 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic) new statutory requirements have come into force around the delivery of relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education in all primary and secondary schools. Further information about these changes can be found here.
The new statutory guidance states that you can only withdraw your child from the non-national curriculum required aspects of sex education – you cannot withdraw your child from any aspects of relationships or health education, nor can you withdraw your child from the national curriculum aspects of sex education that is taught in subjects such as science. Please note that if you do withdraw your child from sex education taught via PSHCE lessons, they will have the right to opt into sex education from their 15th birthday (more specifically, three academic terms before they turn 16).
We strongly recommend that parents/carers do not withdraw their children from sex education as it is of vital importance for their present and future lives. However, any parents wishing to discuss this further, should contact Ms Thomas, Assistant Headteacher.
In response to these new statutory requirements, we have been working hard as a school to ensure that our delivery of this new content, alongside all the other important aspects of PSHCE, is as inclusive, age appropriate and comprehensive as possible. We have re-written the long-term PSHCE plan and produced new lessons for all year groups and have extended Tuesday morning tutor time to be 30 minutes long to ensure more time can be spent delivering these sessions. We have also run several staff training sessions on how to deliver RSE in a way that is safe, inclusive and underpinned by our school ethos and values.
Further to this, we have ensured that our curriculum updates reflect the Ofsted review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges and their recommendations on how to tackle this. PSHCE is a key way in which we intend to tackle this issue, alongside a review of our behaviour and safeguarding policies and our staff training schedule.
Further resources for how to best support PSHCE education from home can be found online here: https://www.brook.org.uk/resources/