Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 16th June 2015.

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Photo of Gloria De Piero Gloria De Piero Shadow Minister (Equalities Office) (Women and Equalities)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her proposals for teaching sexual consent in schools will be compulsory for students in all state-funded schools.

Photo of Edward Timpson Edward Timpson Minister of State (Education)

Good quality sex and relationship education is a vital part of preparing young people for life in modern Britain. Our statutory guidance makes it clear that it must be taught in an age appropriate way. Sex and relationship education (SRE) is compulsory in maintained secondary schools and academies are expected to provide SRE as part of a broad and balanced curriculum. When teaching SRE, all schools must have regard to the Secretary of State’s statutory guidance. The guidance ensures young people develop positive values and a moral framework that will guide their decisions, judgments and behaviour, and makes clear that pupils should learn how the law applies to sexual relationships. The guidance also compels schools to give young people a clear understanding of the arguments for delaying sexual activity and resisting pressure.

The PSHE Association has developed non-statutory guidance for schools when teaching about the topic of consent, which was published in March 2015 and can be found at The department strongly welcomes this guidance.

The department believes that head teachers and their staff are best-placed to decide what resources and guidance to use to teach pupils about keeping safe and preparing for life in modern Britain.

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