Relationships, sex and health education (RSHE): requirements

Understand your requirements to teach relationships and health education in primary school, and RSHE in secondary school. Find out what you're expected to cover and understand parents' right to withdraw their children from sex education.

Last reviewed on 5 October 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 46603
  1. Your requirements
  2. Pupils can be withdrawn from sex education
  3. How Ofsted will inspect RSE 
  4. Expectations for what pupils should know 

Your requirements

All schools with a secondary phase (including all-through and middle schools) need to provide:

  • Relationships and sex education (RSE)
  • Health education

This is set out in the DfE's guidance

You must have an RSE policy

You need a policy in place and you must consult parents/carers to develop and review it.

You must also publish your RSE policy on your school's website.

This requirement is outlined in sections 8 to 12 of the Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019

It is referred to as a 'statement' in the legislation linked above, but the DfE confirmed that this refers to the policy. 

Independent schools

All the requirements above apply, except around the new health education requirement, because you're already required to provide PSHE. 

You should share curriculum materials with parents and carers

This was explained by the