Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Sex Relationship Education: What are School Governors responsible for?

Earlier this month the Daily Mail raised the whole subject of Sex Education again when explicit images produced by Hit UK were approved by some Local Authorities for use on children as young as five.

The full story can be found here:

This story was followed up this week by claiming 'Fury at equality watchdog after it calls for teachers to ask 11-year-olds if they are gay'

The full story can be found here:

So what is statutory position and how does it affect School Governors?

The Learning and Skills Act 2000 amended the Education Act 1996 and places responsibility for determining sex and relationship education firmly with headteachers and School governors.

All schools should have an up-to-date policy for sex and relationship education which is developed in consultation with parents.

The policy should reflect parents’wishes and the culture of the community the school serves and must:

● define sex and relationship education;

● describe how sex and relationship education is provided and who is responsible for providing it;

● say how sex and relationship education is monitored and evaluated;

● include information about parents’ right to withdraw; and

● be reviewed regularly.

Headteachers and School governors are responsible for ensuring that suitable materials
are used in sex and relationship education. Inappropriate images should not be used nor should explicit material not directly related to explanation.

Schools should make sure that the needs of all pupils are met in their sex and relationship education programmes. Young people, whatever their developing sexuality, need to feel that sex and relationship education is relevant to them and sensitive to their needs.

The Sex and Relationship Education Guidance makes clear that teachers should deal honestly and sensitively with sexual orientation, answer appropriate questions and offer support.

Sexual orientation and what is taught in schools is an area of concern for some parents. It is therefore important that schools liaise closely with parents so that they can reassure them of the content of programmes and the context in which they are presented.

It is important that schools tackle all forms of abuse and bullying, including homophobic bullying.

Sex Relationship Education Fact sheets

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