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What is RE/RSE/SRE?


What is RE?

RE refers to Relationship Education and it will become a mandatory part of the school curriculum in all primary schools in England – state, academy, free, faith, private etc. –  from September 2020 (although schools are encouraged to start early).

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What is RSE?

RSE refers to Relationship and Sex Education and it will become a mandatory part of the curriculum in all secondary schools in England – state, academy, free, faith, private etc. from September 2020 (although schools are encouraged to start early).

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What is SRE?

SRE refers to Sex and Relationship Education. It is currently (2018) taught in UK state funded secondary schools (and often in Years 5 and 6 of state primary schools). All schools are required to have an SRE policy.

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When will SRE replace RE/RSE?

From September 2019 SRE will change to RE/RSE in England, and from 2022 in Wales.

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From September 2020, all children in all schools in England will receive RE from the age of 4 – 11 years and RSE from the age of 11- 16 years – this means your child will receive 12 years of RE/RSE!

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What about Nursery schools?

As the law currently stands (2018), nursery schools will not have to teach RE/RSE. However, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) are also calling for: “comprehensive age-appropriate content including promotion of LGBT+ matters for all schools from nursery throughout all phases of state education”…. So RE could be taught to 2 year olds in the future!

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Will faith schools have to teach RE/RSE?

At present (2018), yes, faith schools in England will have to teach RE/RSE when it becomes compulsory in September 2020.

Faith schools will be allowed to teach RE/RSE ‘according to the tenets of their faith’ as long as they are consistent with the requirements of the 2010 Equality Act (which does not allow discrimination on the basis of gender reassignment or sexual orientation, amongst other protected characteristics). Further scope and limitations on this right is yet to be clarified.

However, the MP Edward Timpson, during a parliamentary debate explained that ‘whilst schools would be allowed flexibility over how to teach a topic it would still be compulsory to teach a topic – there is no option to exclude the teaching of certain issues even if it contradicts a school’s religious beliefs or values’. This is consistent with the 2010 Equality Act.

Listen here 

Radio debates on compulsory introduction of RE & RSE

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