Relationships & Sex Education Policy


The following policy refers to Relationships Education at Acton Gardens Primary School

We define Relationships Education as learning about caring friendships, families and people who care for me, respectful relationships, online relationships, being safe, growing up and puberty. Sex Education is also covered in Relationships Education and well as aspects of sex education being covered in the National Science Curriculum (see appendix 1). Sex education is defined in this policy as the scientific process of how a baby is conceived and born

Relationships Education provides an excellent forum to provide pupils with life-skills that will enable them to make informed decisions and protect themselves against harmful and exploitative situations. Relationships Education is therefore a tool to safeguard children

Relationships Education contributes to the foundation of PSHE and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development and offers a valuable vehicle for promoting equality between individuals and groups. It involves an exploration of human and social diversity, and a fostering of self-worth whilst recognising, accepting and respecting differences

Aspects of Relationships Education are taught as an integral part of the school’s PSHE provision throughout the primary school from Reception to Year 6. In this way, children are able to develop their ideas, knowledge and skills gradually and appropriately in a non-threatening environment

Relationships Education and Ofsted:

The 2019 Ofsted framework states that pupils should be able to recognise online and offline risks to their well-being and make them aware of the support available to them. It also states that schools should ensure they are developing pupils’ age-appropriate understanding of healthy relationships through appropriate relationships and sex education

The 2019 Ofsted framework also states:

‘From September 2019, schools are able to follow a new relationships and sex education and health education curriculum. From September 2020, they will be required by law to follow it. Primary-age children must be taught about positive relationships and respect for others, and how these are linked to promoting good mental health and well-being. If a school is failing to meet its obligations, inspectors will consider this when reaching the personal development judgement.’

Moral and Values Framework:

The Relationships Education Policy will be sensitive towards the established morals and values framework of all the major world religions and philosophies. The Relationships Education Policy will be complimentary with the Religious Education Policy of our school and also complimentary of the safeguarding policy

Schools are required to comply with the relevant requirements of the Equality Act 2010. Further guidance is available for schools in The Equality Act 2010 and the school’s advice. The DfE guidance states that schools should pay particular attention to the Public sector equality duty (PSED)

Under the provisions of the Equality Act, schools must not unlawfully discriminate against pupils because of their age,
sex, race, disability, religion or belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, marriage or civil partnership, or sexual orientation (collectively known as the protected characteristics). Schools must also make reasonable adjustments to alleviate disadvantage and be mindful of the SEND Code of Practice when planning for these subjects

As a maintained primary school, we must provide Relationships Education to all pupils as per section 34 of the Children and Social work act 2017. We are not required to provide sex education, but we do need to teach the
elements of sex education contained in the science curriculum. Our school also delivers sex education as part of Relationships Education. Parents can withdraw from sex education lessons (see section 8)

In teaching Relationships Education, we must have regard to guidance issued by the secretary of state as outlined in section 403 of the Education Act 1996

At Acton Gardens Primary School we teach Relationships Education as set out in this policy

This policy has been developed in consultation with staff, pupils and parents. The steps taken to review the policy are as follows.

The Department for Education and Ofsted have clearly outlined aspects of Relationships Education that are statutory in all primary schools, therefore some recommendations or comments made during the consultation process may not be reflected in the final policy as our school has to ensure we are meeting statutory guidelines

  1. Review – members of the Relationships Education working party looked through the existing Relationships Education provision and policy as well as local and national guidance for Relationships Education. The working party then reviewed the Relationships and Education policy reflecting any advice and changes at the local and national level
  2. Staff consultation – Staff were consulted via an online RSE staff survey. The results of this survey informed the policy development and also informed additional support needed to enhance the delivery of RSE. All staff will be sent the draft policy in advance of a staff meeting and will be then invited to comment on the policy and make suggestions/amendments
  3. Parent consultation – Parents were consulted via an online RSE parent survey. Parents were also consulted through the RSE working party. The results of this survey informed the policy development and also identified additional work that was needed with parents to raise their awareness and knowledge of RSE in our school. Parents will be given the opportunity to look through the policy and offer comments
  4. Pupil consultation – We consulted with pupils via the 2019 Health Related Behaviour Survey and through a year 5 and 6 RSE pupil survey. The results of this survey were then used to inform the policy and inform the delivery of RSE in our school
  5. Governor consultation – Governors were consulted on this policy via a governor meeting. All governors will be sent the draft policy in advance of the staff meeting and will then be invited to comment on the policy and make comments
  6. Ratification – once amendments were made, the policy was shared with governors and ratified. The policy
    was then ratified by the governing body on 22nd September 2021
This policy will be reviewed every two years. This policy will be next reviewed September 2023

The aim of this policy is to enable the effective planning, delivery and assessment of Relationships Education

The aims of Relationships Education at our school are to:

  • Develop confidence in talking, listening and thinking about feelings and relationships
  • Teach pupils the correct vocabulary to describe themselves and their bodies
  • Be prepared for puberty and understand the basic changes that happen during puberty
  • Understand how to keep their bodies healthy and clean
  • Understand how to keep themselves and their bodies safe
  • Help pupils develop feeling of self-respect, confidence and empathy
  • Help pupils recognise healthy friendships
  • Provide a framework in which sensitive discussions can take place;
  • Foster respect for the views of other people
  • Teach pupils in year 3 – 6 lesson on ‘My Body, My Rules’ including lessons on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Acton Gardens Primary School believes that Relationships Education should meet the needs of all pupils. Our school is committed to the provision of Relationships Education to all pupils and the differing needs of boys and girls

All staff are expected to give every pupil the chance to experience, participate and achieve the understanding of Relationships Education. Equal time and provision will be allocated for all groups but there may be occasions where children with special educational needs (SEN) are given extra support

The planning and organising of teaching strategies will be consistently reviewed e.g. through lesson observations to ensure that no pupil is disadvantaged


Relationships Education is taught within the personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education curriculum. Our school uses the Ealing PSHE scheme of work to deliver PSHE and Relationships Education. Biological aspects of Relationships Education are taught within the science curriculum, and other aspects are also included in health education. A breakdown of what is covered in Science, Health Education and Relationships Education can be found in appendix 1.

The main aspects of Relationships Education (puberty and human reproduction) are covered in the Summer Term as part of PSHE (See appendix 2) however many aspects of keeping safe, good and bad touch, healthy friendships,
online safety, peer pressure, saying no, the PANTS rule, families and people who care for me are taught throughout the school year to ensure a consistent spiraling approach to keeping safe

When year 5 and 6 children are going on residential trips, a recap of puberty (menstruation) will take place

Relationships Education focuses on teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships including:

  • Families and people who care for me
  • Caring friendships
  • Respectful relationships
  • Online relationships
  • Being safe

The above points are covered in an age appropriate way from EYFS to Year 6 (see Appendix 2 for more detail)

These areas of learning are taught within the context of family life taking care to ensure that there is no stigmatization of children based on their home circumstances (families can include single parent families, LGBT parents, families headed by grandparents, adoptive parents, foster parents/carers amongst other structures) along with reflecting sensitively that some children may have a different structure of support around them (for example: looked after children or young carers)

The changing adolescent body (puberty) is covered in years 4, 5 and 6. It is covered at this age to ensure children are prepared for the emotional and physical changes that will happen during puberty. Puberty is part of the statutory Health Education curriculum (see Appendix 1)

If a girl was to start menstruation prior to the lessons in year 4 a discussion between parent, staff member and pupil may need to take place

Sex education is covered in year 6 only. These lessons will focus on the scientific process of how a baby is conceived and born

For more information about our Relationships Education curriculum, see Appendix 2 and 3. Appendix 2 outlines the learning objectives for Relationships Education and Appendix 3 outlines the vocabulary our school uses during these lessons

As part of the PSHE curriculum, our school delivered lessons on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) to pupils from year 3 to year 6. These lessons are designed to raise pupil’s awareness of appropriate and inappropriate touch, including FGM. For more information on the content of these lessons, please speak to the class teacher


Relationships Education will usually be delivered by a member of the school staff, usually the child’s class teacher. If an external visitor is delivering all or aspects of relationship education, parents will be informed

If additional content is covered (outside of what is detailed in this policy) by a teacher or external organization, parents will be informed and parents reserve the right to request withdrawing their children from these lessons

Relationships Education is usually delivered in mixed-sex groups other than when it is deemed more appropriate for topics to be covered in single-sex groups. Lessons on puberty in Years 4, 5 and 6 will be taught in split sex groups

Lessons on sex education will also be taught in split sex groups

Relationships Education will be assessed as part of the wider PSHE curriculum

Staff are aware that views around RSE related issues are varied. However, while personal views are respected, all RSE issues are taught without bias. Topics are presented objectively so that pupils are able to form their own, informed opinions but also respect others that may have a different opinion

Both formal and informal RSE questions arising from pupils are answered according to the age and maturity of the pupil(s) concerned. Questions do not have to be answered directly and can be addressed individually later. The school believes that individual teachers must use their skill and discretion in this area and refer to the Child Protection Lead if they are concerned

The following are protocols teachers follow for discussion (‘Ground Rules’)

  • No one (teacher or pupil) will have to answer a personal question
  • No one will be forced to take part in a discussion
  • Only correct/agreed names for body parts will be used (see Appendix 3)
  • Meanings of words will be explained in a sensible and factual way
  • The use of a question box may help to lessen the embarrassment of asking questions
  • Teachers may use their discretion in responding to questions and may say (for example):
    • The appropriate person to answer that question is your parent
    • The question can be discussed one to one after class
    • The topic will be covered at a later stage in their Relationships Education

Mrs G Mangat is the member of staff who monitors the implementation of Relationships Education; this monitoring is done through book scrutiny, lesson observations, pupil conferencing sessions and staff focus groups. Relationships Education is assessed and evaluated by using the Ealing PSHE scheme of work

Training for staff:

Staff are trained on the delivery of RSE as part of their induction and it is included in our continuing professional development calendar.

The headteacher may also invite visitors from outside the school, such as school nurses or the health improvement team, to provide support and training to staff teaching RSE

There may be rare occasions when a teacher is directly approached by a primary aged child who is sexually active, contemplating sexual activity and/or is being sexually abused. With respect to child abuse and protection procedures, staff will follow the school’s child protection policy

Staff will also be referred to the:

DfE’s 2019 document on ‘Keeping children safe in education’- statutory guidance for schools and colleges and document for working together to safeguard children 2018

The school views parents as partners in the delivery of Relationships Education. Parents will be informed about the puberty and sex education programme at the end of the Summer 1 term as this content is delivered in Summer 2 term,

The school will liaise with parents through:

  • RSE workshops with materials to view
  • Letter advertising the workshop (Appendix 4)

The school encourages parents to discuss Relationships Education with their head teacher, PSHE lead or the child’s class teacher and are invited to view materials. This policy will be available on the school website for parents

Right to withdraw

Parents do not have the right to withdraw their children from statutory Relationships and Health Education lessons (see outline of Relationships and Health education in Appendix 1). Parents also cannot withdraw their children from the statutory National Science Curriculum (see Appendix 1)

Parents have the right to withdraw their children from the non-statutory components of sex education (taught in year 6 only) within Relationships Education (see appendix 1). Requests for withdrawal from these lessons should be put in writing and addressed to the head teacher. In the event of a child being withdrawn from a lesson, that child must stay in school and will be assigned to another class until that specific lesson is over

If you withdraw your child from sex education lessons, the school cannot guarantee that your child will not hear about the content of lessons from other pupils e.g. on the playground, or walking home from school. By withdrawing children from sex education lessons, they may seek information from elsewhere e.g. friends, siblings, and the Internet. These sources of information are often incorrect and unreliable and can expose children to information which is not appropriate for their age

The Governing Board
The governing board will approve the Relationships Education policy and hold the headteacher to account for its implementation

The Headteacher
The head teacher is responsible for ensuring that Relationships Education is taught consistently across the school, and for managing requests to withdraw pupils from non-statutory components of Relationships Education (see Appendix 1)

Staff are responsible for:

  • Delivering Relationships Education in a sensitive way in accordance with the curriculum as laid out in this policy
  • Modelling positive attitudes to Relationships Education
  • Monitoring progress
  • Responding to the needs of individual pupils

Staff do not have the right to opt out of teaching Relationships Education. Staff who have concerns about teaching Relationships Education are encouraged to discuss this with the head teacher

Pupils are expected to engage respectfully in Relationships Education and, when discussing issues related to Relationships Education, treat others with respect and sensitivity

Relationships & Sex Education Policy including Appendices

Date of last review:
September 2021

Date of next review:
September 2022