Tips to Help Schools Prepare for Statutory Sex and Relationships Education

With the opportunity to respond to the draft sex and relationship (SRE) guidance now closed; what can schools do now to prepare for the introduction of mandatory SRE?

Government plans suggest a phased implementation of compulsory SRE which will come into effect from 2020. The guidance will apply to all government-maintained schools, private schools and academies. These tips from Tough Cookies Education, a Greater Manchester based sex, relationships and health education company can help schools and teachers prepare and plan.

Guidance and legislation
If you haven’t already read the draft guidance. Take some time to look through this, although it is still in consultation stage it will help you to establish a good understanding of how statutory SRE may look and what the expectations of your school will be for 2020. We were surprised to learn at a recent training course we delivered that many PSHE leads and teachers had not yet familiarised themselves with the draft guidance. This should be your starting point. Other guidance which would be useful to brief yourself with is the Sex and relationships education (SRE) for the 21st century. The current sex and relationship guidance from 2000, still applies until 2020.

Resources and curriculum design
There are lots of information available which can help schools to design and plan a quality SRE curriculum. But before exploring this it may be beneficial to check where you are now to identify the areas where you will need to develop. DO SRE provide lots of useful information for school leaders including self-assessment tools. The SRE forum has also recently produced the ‘Roadmap to Statutory RSE’. The roadmap is freely available to all schools and outlines 10 essential steps that schools need to take ahead of September 2020.

Resources can be found with a quick online search and many of these available can be easily adapted to suit your school’s needs. You can purchase whole school programmes such as The Big Life project.

Outside speakers can be booked to enhance the work you deliver, such as the workshops for schools provided by Tough Cookies Education Ltd. Your school may also choose to design their own whole school curriculum, lesson plans and resources. Tough Cookies Education recently worked with Tameside Council writing a new primary and secondary school curriculum resource which has now been implemented across their schools. The PSHE Association provide a scheme of work and guidance for planning.

In a recent survey carried out by the SRE Forum 29% of the teachers said they had received no SRE training whatsoever, 38% of those who had, said that the training they did receive was inadequate, meaning that many staff say they don’t feel confident to deliver SRE. In order to improve this and to ensure a quality programme is delivery training needs, should be identified and addressed.

Tough Cookies Education is hosting a Sex and Relationships Education Conference in Manchester. The conference will bring together teachers, educators and other practitioners with a role to deliver SRE and aims to share up to date information as well as knowledge, skills and best practice. There will be a number of guest speakers covering topics including faith and SRE, LGBT, consent and online. We also provide a number of training short courses covering SRE topics.


The Sex and Relationships Education Conference will be held on Monday 11th February 2019, at The Hive, Lever Street, Manchester. Early bird tickets are £99 *available till 1/12/2018 and will be £135 thereafter. For more information please contact Tough Cookies Education via the website or call Kerry Cabbin on 07824 885837

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