DfE publish final guidance on relationships education (primary) relationships and sex education (secondary) and health education (primary and secondary).

The new curriculum will be mandatory from September 2020.

The Department for Education have published the final statutory guidance for Relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education.

The new curriculum will be mandatory from September 2020. Schools are encouraged to adopt the new curriculum early from September 2019.

Download (577KB - PDF)

To view the accompanying documents visit the DfE page here.

Further information and links to resources are available here.


Below is an extract from the guidance.

What is the status of this guidance?

This is statutory guidance from the Department for Education issued under Section 80A of the Education Act 2002 and section 403 of the Education Act 1996. Further details are in Annex A.

Schools1 must have regard to the guidance, and where they depart from those parts of the guidance which state that they should, or should not, do something they will need to have good reasons for doing so.

About this guidance

This document contains information on what schools should do and sets out the legal duties with which schools must comply when teaching Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education.

Unless otherwise specified, ‘school’ means all schools, whether maintained, non-maintained or independent schools, including academies and free schools, non-maintained special schools, maintained special schools and alternative provision, including pupil referral units.

Who this guidance is for

This statutory guidance applies to all schools, and is therefore aimed at:

  • governing bodies of maintained-schools, including schools with a sixth-form, and non-maintained special schools;
  • trustees or directors of academies and free school
  • proprietors of independent schools, including academies and free schools
  • management committees of pupil referral units (PRUs)
  • teachers, other school staff and school nurses
  • headteachers, principals and senior leadership teams
  • diocese and other faith representatives
  • for reference for relevant local authority staff

What this guidance updates

This guidance replaces the Sex and Relationship Education guidance (2000). This guidance will be reviewed 3 years from first required teaching (September 2020) and every 3 years after that point.

The guidance should be read in conjunction with:

  1. Guidance on Health Education does not apply to independent schools, which must meet the Independent School Standards as set out in the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014. However, they may find the sections on Health Education helpful. It does, however, apply to academies and free schools.

  • Category: General
Last updated: 26 June 2019 15:09:01