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Last weeks blog was all about the call for SRE to be made mandatory in schools. This week the government responded and announced that it would be compulsory in all schools. We are also pleased to see that it has been re-framed as RSE, placing more importance on the relationship aspects of the curriculum. This applies to all schools, including academies and free schools. A cause for concern is the fact that parents are able to opt their children out of lessons.

There will be a public consultation later on in the year, and the government will be consulting with key stakeholders. We urge you to respond to the consultation as there is still uncertainty as to what RSE will look like. We need to ensure that a gendered approach is taken with lessons including:

  • gender equality
  • consent
  • challenging sexual harassment
  • issues affecting LGBT young people
  • wider forms of violence against women and girls
  • staying safe
  • engaging boys and young men as allies against gender based violence

And of course, these lessons cannot take place in isolation. They must be part of a wider whole school approach to ending gender based violence (see our toolkit for how to do this).

So, this is a hugely welcome step forward, but we need to carry on working together to ensure young people have access to the good quality RSE that they need, want and deserve.