Here at Ten Ten Resources we get asked a lot about what is necessary with regards to communicating with parents about RSHE. At the start of this new school year, here’s a handful of questions we get asked and some suggestions for you to consider.

Before you launched the new RSHE curriculum in your school, you should have consulted with parents. Most subscribers of Life to the Full used our Parent Consultation Tool which is available as part of your subscription. This initial consultation helped inform parents about the plans you were making for the new RSHE curriculum and gave them an opportunity to share their thoughts and any concerns. Using the feedback from parents, your SLT and governors will have finalised your school’s RSHE policy. For primary schools, the policy will include information about if and when it has been decided that Sex Education (which is non-statutory for primary schools) will take place within the school’s curriculum and how a parent can withdraw their child from this curriculum.

Once these key decisions have been made it is not necessary to launch a full consultation every year. However…

Good Practice with New Parents

…it is good practice to consider how you will inform and bring on board new parents, whether that’s parents of Reception or Year 7 pupils, or parents of children who join part-way through an academic year.

Life to the Full subscribers may like to use the Parent Consultation Tool to introduce parents to the RSHE curriculum.

Good Practice for a New School Year

Each year a pupil will take a new journey in their RSHE curriculum and subscribers of Life to the Full are able to equip parents to take that journey with their child

 

As part of Life to the Full, we have created an Online Parent Portal. This section of our website is available to all parents whose child’s school uses Life to the Full. The Online Parent Portal provides a summary of each lesson, links to specific content and suggestions for further engagement at home. Every school is given a unique username and password which they can distribute to parents to provide all-year-round access to the portal. The username and password for your school can be found in the ‘Account’ area of the Life to the Full website.

Occasionally, we receive requests from parents (via their schools) for full access to the programme as part of the consultation process. Since April 2022, we have been able to provide online access to the full programme of resources so parents can actively engage in the consultation process. All requests for full access must be made via the school, not directly with Ten Ten Resources.

Download the full Ten Ten Resources Parent Communication Policy

Parent Communication Policy (access restricted)

3 March 2022

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Paragraphs 40-50 of the English DfE Guidance on RSHE focus on Engaging Parents on matters concerning RSHE. You can read them here:

40. The role of parents in the development of their children’s understanding about relationships is vital. Parents are the first teachers of their children. They have the most significant influence in enabling their children to grow and mature and to form healthy relationships.

41. All schools should work closely with parents when planning and delivering these subjects. Schools should ensure that parents know what will be taught and when, and clearly communicate the fact that parents have the right to request that their child be withdrawn from some or all of sex education delivered as part of statutory RSE.

42. Parents should be given every opportunity to understand the purpose and content of Relationships Education and RSE. Good communication and opportunities for parents to understand and ask questions about the school’s approach help increase confidence in the curriculum.

43. Many schools build a good relationship with parents on these subjects over time – for example by inviting parents into school to discuss what will be taught, address any concerns and help support parents in managing conversations with their children on these issues. This can be an important opportunity to talk about how these subjects contribute to wider support in terms of pupil wellbeing and keeping children safe. It is important through such processes to reach out to all parents, recognising that a range of approaches may be needed for doing so.

44. Many schools will have existing mechanisms in place to engage parents and should continue to draw on these as they respond to the new legal framework.

45. Parents have the right to request that their child be withdrawn from some or all of sex education delivered as part of statutory RSE. Before granting any such request it would be good practice for the head teacher to discuss the request with parents and, as appropriate, with the child to ensure that their wishes are understood and to clarify the nature and purpose of the curriculum. Schools will want to document this process to ensure a record is kept.

46. Good practice is also likely to include the head teacher discussing with parents the benefits of receiving this important education and any detrimental effects that withdrawal might have on the child. This could include any social and emotional effects of being excluded, as well as the likelihood of the child hearing their peers’ version of what was said in the classes, rather than what was directly said by the teacher (although the 17 detrimental effects may be mitigated if the parents propose to deliver sex education to their child at home instead).

47. Once those discussions have taken place, except in exceptional circumstances, the school should respect the parents’ request to withdraw the child, up to and until three terms before the child turns 16. After that point, if the child wishes to receive sex education rather than be withdrawn, the school should make arrangements to provide the child with sex education during one of those terms.

48. This process is the same for pupils with SEND. However there may be exceptional circumstances where the head teacher may want to take a pupil’s specific needs arising from their SEND into account when making this decision. The approach outlined above should be reflected in the school’s policy on RSE.

49. Head teachers will automatically grant a request to withdraw a pupil from any sex education delivered in primary schools, other than as part of the science curriculum.

50. If a pupil is excused from sex education, it is the school’s responsibility to ensure that the pupil receives appropriate, purposeful education during the period of withdrawal. There is no right to withdraw from Relationships Education or Health Education.’

You can access the full document on the DfE website: