Last reviewed on 5 April 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 39570

Your school's RSE requirements are a sensitive subject, so you might have to field objections from parents. Learn about the most common ones and how to handle them.

Be clear on parents' right to withdraw and your requirements

Parents can't withdraw their child from relationships or health education. 

In primary schools, if you choose to teach sex education, you must allow parents to withdraw their child from part or all of it. 

In secondary schools, parents can withdraw their child from part or all of sex education, unless you feel there are 'exceptional circumstances'. They can do this up until 3 terms before the child turns 16. After that, it's the child's decision.

In both cases, if a pupil is withdrawn, it's your responsibility to make sure they receive appropriate, purposeful education during the withdrawal period.

See more about the RSE requirements for primary and secondary schools. 

Cover this clearly in your policy

That parents and carers have the right to request withdrawal from all or part of sex education  Who to contact to make such a request