Relationships and sex education guidance recognises the online world

Peter Lillington responds to the government’s draft guidance on Health, Sex and Relationships education

The world in which children and young people are growing up has in many respects changed considerably since 2000, the last time that Health and Sex and Relationships Education guidance was updated. The government’s draft guidance, which was actually published for consultation in July 2018, was in the news media this week with tabling of amendments to legislation in parliament. It is proposed that the guidance will become compulsory from September 2020.

We are pleased to note that, as might have been expected, the changes in the world in which children are growing up are to some extent acknowledged in the new draft guidance. Media attention has focused on disagreement or controversy in some quarters around some points, but we expect schools and teachers will welcome guidance that provides clarity around teaching in a subject area that needs to be handled sensitively and for which some colleagues may feel ill equipped or insufficiently prepared.

The phrase ‘online world’ figures at several points in the document, and references are made to the online/e-safety elements of the Computing curriculum. The tables that show end of phase expectations for primary and secondary contain specific sections: ‘online relationships’, ‘online and media’, ‘internet safety and harms’. There are also links to key documents that we have highlighted over the past 12 months, notably the UKCCIS framework Education for a Connected World, and the Children’s Commissioner’s Digital 5 a day materials, as well as the UKCCIS guidance for schools on how to handle incidents of sexting.

When schools are ready to review their teaching and policy in this area we would recommend looking for opportunities to strengthen the connections between not only online safety and PSHE but also citizenship and moral and ethical behaviour.

Some schools have adopted the Rights Respecting schools framework or philosophy for children (P4C) and a wealth of other positive approaches that give an opportunity for thinking and discussion. Within the context of a school’s ethos and community there is a chance to develop a coherent cross-curricular plan and individual lesson plans. We’d certainly recommend the Education for a Connected World document as a great starting point – and this is likely to be released with subsequent updates.

While we are not specialist SRE support providers we can certainly support schools through our consultancy and other services in developing coherent schemes of work in accord with the new draft Ofsted Inspection framework and latest curriculum guidance. Give us a call on 0207 720 7514 or email [email protected] to find out more about our support.


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Upcoming CPD

Summer primary school computing conference
Summer primary school computing conference

This event will build upon the Autumn computing conference by inviting subject leaders to reflect on their year in the role, sharing their successes and challenges. It will also introduce new ideas, tools and approaches through talks and practical activities led by members of the CLC team, with opportunities for attendees to share their own expertise and experience. Over the course of the conference activities will touch on the three main areas of the computing curriculum: computer science, digital literacy and information technology. We will also feature advice and examples illustrating the use of technology to support blended learning.

- 15:30
Computing subject leaders, Teachers...
Creative Arts, Digital and children – CLC meets More Than Robots online
Creative Arts, Digital and children - CLC meets More Than Robots online

Combining forces for the first time, the Connected Learning Centre and More Than Robots have created a session for teachers, youth organisations, researchers and policymakers interested in the digital provision of creative arts for primary aged pupils.


The Play Observatory - Prof. John Potter

“In their own words”: Westminster Abbey & CLC digital projects - Sian Shaw

Building (and maintaining) a city-wide primary arts curriculum to raise attainment - Kate Fellows

More to be added soon

This interactive and inclusive meet up will include inspiring examples of how technology can be used to support learning in music, visual art and drama in person and online at home drawing on our experiences as Tate Exchange associates and our partnership work with a range of cultural institutions.

This informal event is an opportunity to discuss real examples of what does/doesn’t work, meet colleagues from other sectors working on similar challenges and share useful research, news or updates

The morning will include case study presentations (details below) followed by a Q&A. There will also be an opportunity for a rapid sharing round for launches, project updates or requests for help and a short break to avoid zoom brain drain.

- 11:30
KS1, KS2
Subject leaders, Teachers...

Upcoming Special projects

The News Project
- 14:25

Special project in collaboration with First News Education

For a third year, building on two successful previous projects, we are once again partnering with the children’s newspaper First News, fellow member of the national Making Sense of Media and News Literacy networks. This special project with a literacy, PSHE and citizenship, as well as computing focus, highlights our specialist interest in this important aspect of digital and critical literacy.

The News Project will enable participating classes from year 5 to immerse themselves in news and current affairs using First News and the Bett award-winning First News iHUB, which will be provided free of charge during the school-based part of the project over a six week period. Under the guidance of their teacher, pupils will be supported in their development as a community of fully informed news readers. Classes will test their new critical skills and knowledge in the culminating virtual celebration event which will include a news competition and team-based critical literacy and editorial activities. After the event, schools will be able to use the resources from the day in their school.

The project will launch with an introductory CPD session for teachers to set the context, demonstrate resources and to plan for the school-based activities. 

Initial CPD session - Thursday 21st October 4pm-5.00pm. 

Project work undertaken in school - October and November.

Special event - Thursday 25th November 9.30am-2.45pm.

The Garden Museum

The CLC is once again partnering with the Garden Museum to offer a partnership project for KS1 pupils (primarily suited to Yr2). Located next to Lambeth Palace on the bank of the Thames, the museum has an inspiring collection that provides the ideal stimulus for young learners to explore the world around them.

Pupils will use technology alongside the museum’s collection to explore the wonderful world of seeds.

  • How are they planted?
  • How do they spread?
  • What is inside them?

 The Garden Museum has a large collection of seeds and tools that pupils will engage with.

These half-day sessions will take place at the Garden Museum.

There is a limited number of dates available, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

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