Schools gearing up for awareness-raising event on sex education and relationships

The country’s first ever Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) Day is being held across Nottingham this week.

A number of city schools are signed up already and are planning activities for the ground-breaking event on Thursday 28 June.

RSE Day encourages all people in Nottingham to see the topic of sex education and relationships as part of their responsibility, and understand its importance in safeguarding children and young people.

Activities, including talks and question-and-answer sessions, will take place at Nottingham City Council’s Loxley House headquarters, in Station Street, all day and the following schools will be running events:

  • Edna G Olds Academy, in Lenton
  • Robin Hood Primary, in Bestwood Park
  • Rosehill School, St Ann’s
  • Oak Field School and Sports College, Bilborough
  • Brocklewood Primary School, Bilborough
  • Nottingham Academy Greenwood Campus, Bakersfield
  • Southglade Primary School, Bestwood
  • Blue Bell Hill Primary, St Ann’s
  • Rise Park Primary School
  • Nottingham High School, Arboretum
  • Walter Halls Primary School, Mapperley

The aim of RSE is to give children and young people the skills they need to build positive and healthy relationships and stay safe, as well as offer factual information about the body, reproduction, sex and sexual health, and online safety.

Some elements of RSE are covered within the science curriculum and there are certain statutory topics at secondary age, however schools can otherwise choose what to deliver based on government guidance.

Two years ago, the City Council launched its RSE Charter and urged all schools in Nottingham to sign up. It encourages headteachers to view RSE as a key element of their work to safeguard children. It asks for three thing

  1. Sign up and complete an audit of current RSE provision
  2. Create an action plan and develop existing RSE
  3. Evaluate, assess and monitor progress – share good practice with others

Currently 76 schools in Nottingham (74%) are signed up and providing, or working towards providing, age-appropriate RSE lessons for their pupils.

In February this year, Nottingham North MP Alex Norris praised the Council’s charter in the House of Commons during a debate about statutory personal, social, health and economic education.

Describing the authority’s work on RSE as ‘excellent’, he said: “This is about equipping our young people to pass what I call the ‘Friday Night test’. When they are out and about on a Friday, do they have the knowledge and skills to make good decisions? Because we won’t be there, teachers won’t be there and parents can’t be there all the time.”

Councillor Neghat Khan, Portfolio Holder for Education and Skills at Nottingham City Council, said: “RSE is an important part of our pupils’ education in the City. Our vision for Nottingham is that all children and young people receive RSE that is age-appropriate, responds to their needs and enables them to gain the knowledge and skills to form healthy relationships and keep themselves safe as they move into adulthood.”

Councillor Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health, added: “I’m looking forward to the first RSE Day in Nottingham – it’s important that we dedicate a day to this important topic. Early education on subjects like this can have a hugely positive impact on our children’s health and life chances in the future. We, in Nottingham, are leading the way nationally with our RSE Charter now signed by the vast majority of local schools.”

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