Responding to the Department for Education’s Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education in England guidance published today, Humanists UK Education Campaigns Manager Dr Ruth Wareham said:
‘After over fifty years of campaigning for RSE for all children and young people, we are delighted that the Government has announced it will introduce compulsory relationships education for primary pupils, and relationships and sex education for secondary pupils in all schools. We are also particularly pleased that young people over the age of 15 will be able to prevent their parents from withdrawing them from any sex education provided.
‘It is imperative that all young people receive information about relationships and sex as part of their education so that they are aware of their rights and can grow up to have healthy, happy, and safe relationships.
‘Young people who grow up in insular religious communities might not receive any information from their parents on issues such as safeguarding, consent, safe sex, and LGBT relationships so it is vital that schools fill this gap.
‘However, while we welcome the progress the guidance represents, we are concerned about the lack of compulsory content which schools may try to take advantage of to avoid teaching many topics. We are also particularly concerned about the carve-outs for faith schools that make it easier for them to refuse to teach vital elements of RSE. We will continue to call for compulsory content across all topics and for all pupils.’
For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK Press Manager Casey-Ann Seaniger at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 7324 3078.
For more information on our work on relationships and sex education, visit
At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.