Feedback to RSE parent survey
Response to survey on RSE
Thank you for taking the time to complete the RSE survey, we recognise the need to have parental involvement in such an important part of childrens' education.
Our survey showed that parents and carers are happy with the RSE provided to their children but would like some additional information on content. I have attached the programme of study for all years here and although content may be amended during the year due to events which happen nationally or locally, this should not affect it too much.
Responses to questions asked by parents/carers
What is sex and relationships education? Sex and relationships education is learning about the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up, relationships, sex, human sexuality and sexual health. Some aspects are taught in science, and others are taught as part of personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE).
A comprehensive programme of SRE provides accurate information about the body, reproduction, sex, and sexual health. It also gives children and young people essential skills for building positive, enjoyable, respectful and non-exploitative relationships and staying safe both on and offline.
I would rather educate my children on this topic in line with family values. I think they are sometimes given too much information in a society that is already overly sexualised. / Does sex and relationships education sexualise children?
All material used is age appropriate, for example, when we introduce the concept of consent in year 8, it has different content to the consent lesson we teach in year 11. At Chetwynde we believe that good SRE is part of the solution to concerns about sexualisation of children. Evidence shows that comprehensive SRE delays sexual activity for young people, and increases the likelihood of using contraception. The National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (NATSAL, 2013) showed a link between school-based SRE and reductions in teenage pregnancy.
Children are naturally curious about growing up, how their bodies work and how humans reproduce. Their questions need to be answered honestly, using language and explanations appropriate for their age and maturity, thus avoiding unnecessary mystery, confusion, embarrassment and shame.
Sex and relationships education addresses the questions and concerns raised by the biological facts – for example, exploring the feelings a new baby can bring, or the effect of puberty on friendships. It provides balance to sometimes distorted messages about sex and gender roles in the media, and helps protect children by explaining boundaries and safety, and developing the language and understanding needed to recognise abusive behaviour and seek help. It also helps pupils to develop respectful and consensual attitudes and behaviours
Do you teach about rape and consent? Yes. Pupils are taught about all aspects of the law and sexual consent - notably that, in the law on sexual offences, the onus is on getting rather than giving consent. As a principle, SRE should promote equality in relationships and emphasise the importance of seeking and gaining mutual consent through positive and active communication, and go beyond teaching how to say ‘no’.
Pupils are taught how to identify behaviour in a relationship which is positive and supportive and that which is exploitative and controlling. Pupils should understand the impact of a pernicious culture that reinforces stereotyped and gendered expectations for both boys and girls, including blaming victims for the abuse they experience and other cultural norms and negative stereotypes that they experience and observe. Pupils should also develop the skills for negotiating consent and managing the feelings associated with their experiences, and how to seek help and support if they need it. Crucially, learning should open up discussion about real-life situations
Are boys and girls kept together for this education or is it taught to them separately? For the majority of RSE lessons girls and boys are not separated. The exception to this is the contraception and STI lessons in year 10. Evidence shows that separating children along gender lines gives the message that there is something secretive or shameful about this topic and it is something that cannot be discussed openly in mixed company. The more openly we can talk about these topics, and talk about them without shame and embarrassment, the more comfortable people will feel reporting sexual misconduct when and if it does happen. This will also take away the power from those who perpetrate sexual crimes as they often rely on the victims’ shame to ensure secrecy.
Do you teach about pornography? Yes. We address the issues surrounding pornography and there is widespread support from parents who recognise the need for this. Teaching emphasises that pornography is not the best way to learn about sex because it does not reflect real life, and can therefore be worrying, confusing and frightening for young people. We do not show pornographic images or videos.
Does advise reflect today's society? All our resources represent our diverse society and reference marriage, partnerships, single parent and same sex families and extended families.
I only want my child to learn about biological reproductive practises. We don't teach children sexual practises, but if questions are asked we would explain slang terms so that young people get accurate information. The new guidance is clear that LGBT issues must be integrated and not covered just as a standalone topic. Schools have a clear duty under the Equality Act 2010 to ensure that teaching is accessible to all children and young people, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT). Inclusive SRE will foster good relations between pupils, tackle all types of prejudice – including homophobia – and promote understanding and respect, enabling schools to meet the requirements, and live the intended spirit, of the Equality Act 2010.