Last reviewed on 22 April 2022
School types: All · School phases: Primary
Ref: 37089

Get a summary of your requirements to provide health and relationships education. Find out what you’re expected to cover and what the guidance says about sex education.

Your requirements

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

  • Relationships education
  • Health education

You probably covered parts of these topics already if you taught SRE or PSHE (personal, social, health and economic) education - which used to be optional for state-funded primary schools.

This is set out in the DfE's statutory guidance. 

Sex education is non-compulsory 

Primary schools aren't required to provide sex education, but the DfE recommends you put a programme in place if you don't have one already.

You must have a relationships and sex education (RSE) policy 

You need a policy in place for relationships (and sex) education and you must consult parents to develop and review it.

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