While the lockdown is easing and schools opening to certain year group’s some schools have started engagement with parents about the implementation of RSE from September 2020. However we have seen a lot of schools send out surveys as part of the consultation process, some of which are not real meaningful consultations. Therefore we have prepared some guidelines for parents to help ensure that the RSE consultation and implementation is meaningful and reflective of our children’s beliefs and values.
1. Request your school to delay the implementation of RSE to the summer term of the next academic year (April 2021) as the DfE has given this dispensation for schools due to Covid-19. The delay in implementation will help with the following point.
2. Request for face to face consultations with parents and not questionnaires or online consultation. The face to face consultation can happen in September 2020, if your school takes up the DfE offer to delay implementation of RSE until April 2021. This will ensure the consultations can be done properly and be meaningful.
3. In the consultations, the three key areas of contention that should be looked at:
i. The teaching of LGBT under different families from KS1 (Year 1 – age 5).
ii. Teaching the names of the sexual body parts under safeguarding from KS1 (Year 1 – age 5)
iii. The teaching of puberty from year 4
You should look at how these are being proposed to be implemented in your school. They can be pushed back to be taught in the later years of KS2 (year 5/6).
4. Schools will say that consultation does not mean parents have a right to veto the curriculum, as stated in DfE guidance. However parents shouldn’t feel intimidated, as the DfE guidance states that the policy and curriculum MUST reflect the faith background of the pupils that the school serves. So if a policy comes in that is in opposition to the pupil’s faith then that means the school hasn’t had meaningful consultation and listened to parents and been reflective.
There are only a few weeks left until school will close for summer, so it is important to get active again with your school and work hard for a better RSE policy and curriculum in your child’s school.