Relationships and sex education (RSE): requirements (secondary)

Understand your requirements to teach RSE and health education. Find out what you're expected to cover and details on parents' right to withdraw their children from sex education.

Last reviewed on 19 May 2022
School types: All · School phases: Secondary
Ref: 37100
  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 Pupils can be withdrawn from sex education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)
    • This replaces the former need to provide sex and relationships education (SRE), but is more about formalising the expectations than radically changing what you teach
  • Health education
    • You probably already covered parts of this in personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, which used to be optional for state-funded schools

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 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 the DfE what the written statement should include and it said the statement should contain the same information as