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RSE Policy

Co-op Academy Swinton


Version: February 2023         Review Date: February 2024

Relationships education - Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) Policy

Basic Information:

This policy covers our school’s approach to Relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE). RSE will be taught as part of the planned Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) curriculum programme in one hour a week lessons taught in tutor groups.


Co-op Academy Swinton aims and objectives of RSE:

Our academy’s overarching aims and objectives for our students are to develop them as individuals, each valued in his or her own right and promoting, for each student, a positive self-image. We aim to help students care about other people, be capable of forming constructive healthy relationships and to accept responsibility for the welfare of others.

Furthermore, RSE will help students to understand that there are morally, ethically and legally acceptable forms of behaviour as well as offering factual information relating to safer sex, healthy relationships and contraception advice for life.


Relationship and sex education is a statutory aspect of school life and is paramount in the development of young people’s lives. The programme has been developed to address the needs, concerns and anxieties that are brought about by the onset of puberty. It seeks to provide a clear understanding for students within a positive and caring environment. It is positive in promoting responsibility for pupils' own behaviour and the consequences of their action.

It is important to address this area of the curriculum from Year 7 through to Year 11 in order to protect our young people by increasing their awareness of RSE issues. Through the PSHE programme students will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of RSE so they can go on to make informed choices in the future. All students have a right to RSE as it promotes healthy relationships and also enables students to protect themselves from abuse, unhealthy relationships, unintended pregnancies, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/ Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Female genital mutilation (FGM) and child sexual exploitation (CSE).

 Co-op Academy Swinton will ensure the best interests of students and young people will be maintained during RSE lessons and will encourage students and young people to talk to their parents and carers about any issues they discuss.

RSE topics that will be taught during PSHE lessons:

While promoting the aims and objectives above, we will ensure that students are offered a balanced programme. Students will have the opportunity to develop their understanding of their own physical development and to look at the different emotional and physical changes that happen during adolescence. Please see the RSE roadmap below for more information about when different aspects of RSE are delivered.

Roles and Responsibilities:

The governing board will approve the RSE policy, and hold the Principal to account for its implementation.

The Headteacher is responsible for ensuring that RSE is taught consistently across the school, and for managing requests to withdraw students from any non-statutory components of RSE.

Staff are responsible for:

  • Delivering RSE in a sensitive way
  • Modelling positive attitudes to RSE
  • Monitoring progress
  • Responding to the needs of individual students
  • Responding appropriately to students whose parents wish them to be withdrawn from the non-statutory components of RSE

Staff do not have the right to opt out of teaching RSE. Staff who have concerns about teaching RSE are encouraged to discuss this with Amy Bicknell.

Students are expected to engage fully in RSE and, when discussing issues related to RSE, treat others with respect and sensitivity.

Teaching RSE:

The school seeks to provide a safe, secure learning environment for PSHE that enables students and young people to gain accurate knowledge, develop their own values and attitudes, and develop skills to grow into happy confident successful adults. The school seeks to ensure members of staff are good role models for positive healthy relationships.

Students will need to feel secure and valued. In order to support this, group agreements are negotiated and established during the initial lesson with form tutors. The teaching style will support the needs of the students taking into consideration school, home life and friends. This will allow the teacher to provide understanding and support for its students. Due to the sensitive nature of the issues discussed, students will be given an opportunity to leave the room if they need to.

Teaching will take into account the ability, age, readiness, and cultural backgrounds of our young people and those with English as a second language to ensure that all can fully access the PSHE programme. Where agreed students with special educational needs will be supported with some extra lessons, working small groups in a supportive environment with the SEND team.

The school will support members of staff delivering PSHE, understand the nature of some topics may be challenging for some teachers to deliver.

Support and Safeguarding:

The school recognises the importance for students, young people, families and the workforce of having access to confidential services, including health services to support their physical and emotional needs. Personal stories will not be used to protect students from accidental disclosures or private information, however disclosures may occur as part of RSE lessons and staff must follow the school’s Safeguarding Policy. If staff have any reason to believe a student is at risk, they are required to report this to the Safeguarding Officer. At the same time students will be offered sensitive and appropriate support.

Parents’ right to withdrawal from RSE:

Parents have the right to withdraw their children from some, or all, aspects of  sex  education  within statutory RSE up to, and until, three terms before the child turns 16. After this point, if the child wishes to receive sex education rather than being withdrawn, the school will arrange this.

If a parent requests that their son or daughter be removed from Sex Education lessons they must discuss this with the Headteacher. On agreement, students will be allowed to work in Retreat or the library during this hour. If a child is withdrawn from SE lessons the staff would be unable to prevent the student from asking their peers what they had learnt in the lesson. Changes to the legislation mean that students who are approaching 16 (three terms before their 16th birthday) have the right to ‘opt in’ to SE despite their withdrawal from parents.

Monitoring and Evaluation:

The evaluation and monitoring of RSE  takes  place  continually through learning walks during PSHE, book looks and student voice questionnaires. Students’ learning will be assessed during the RSE lessons using a variety of techniques including baseline tasks in lessons, retrieval practice, quizzes and student questionnaires.

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