There has been a growing recognition of the importance of RSHE in schools. However, with this increased awareness comes a greater responsibility on teachers to deliver accurate and appropriate content to their students. This is not an easy task, as RSHE is a highly sensitive subject that requires a specialist approach, and keeping parents happy in all instances will be difficult.
Despite this, the UK government has been quick to push the responsibility of delivering RSHE onto ordinary teachers. While this may seem like a cost-effective solution, it places an enormous burden on teachers who are already overworked and under-resourced. The government has yet to publish updated guidance on what specifically should be taught to each age group, leaving teachers in the dark on what is expected of them. This lack of guidance puts teachers in a difficult position.
MP Miriam Cates has raised concerns over the inappropriate content of sex education lessons, stating that ‘children are being subjected to lessons that are age-inappropriate, extreme, sexualising and inaccurate, often using resources from unregulated organisations that are actively campaigning to undermine parents’.
The Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan, has also recently written to schools stating that there is “no room for any disturbing content” in relationships and sex education. While this may seem obvious, it is essential that there is clear and concise guidance on what constitutes disturbing content.
It is important to recognise that RSHE is not just about teaching the mechanics of sex. It is about providing students with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed decisions about their relationships and sexuality. This requires a nuanced and specialist approach that is difficult for ordinary teachers to provide, especially across a wide variety of age groups.
The government’s approach is concerning, as it seems to be more concerned with addressing the issue on the cheap rather than providing a comprehensive and specialist approach. The government has been quick to criticise schools when reports of “inappropriate” content are taught. However, it seems unfair to place the responsibility of teaching RSHE onto teachers without providing them with the necessary support and resources.
We’d love to hear about your thoughts and experiences at school when delivering RSHE, please let us know in the comments section below.
This article was written by the TeacherHaven team, help us support education by contributing to our blog, email us at email@example.com