Sex and Relationship Education in Schools

Department of Education Response to President's Letter

From This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Date: 18 October 2016 at 08:28:13 BST
To: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Subject: Department for Education: 2016-0044944 CRM:0708976

Dear Dr Banner

I am writing on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education to thank you for your letter of 23 September about sex and relationship education (SRE) in schools.

SRE is compulsory in all maintained secondary schools. It is not compulsory in primary schools but many do choose to teach it. The government is clear that appropriate SRE is essential for children’s development and preparation for responsible adult life.

This department has issued statutory guidance for schools, which makes clear that all SRE should be age-appropriate and schools should ensure young people develop positive values and a moral framework that will guide their decisions, judgments and behaviour. This is particularly relevant to sexual consent and all young people should understand how the law applies to sexual relationships.

The guidance covers a range of issues about sex and relationships, including the importance of loving and stable relationships as well as the nature of marriage and its importance for family life and the bringing up of children. The guidance also ensures that pupils are protected from inappropriate teaching and materials, having regard to pupils’ age and religious or cultural background. We believe that teachers are best placed to make decisions about what is appropriate for individual pupils and class groups.

You can find more information at:
Once again, thank you for writing and I hope this information is helpful. Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2016-0044944. If you need to respond to us, please visit: and quote your reference number.

Yours sincerely Jo Radford  Ministerial and Public Communications Division
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