30 August 2018
Schools to Teach Health Education

New Health Education and Relationships Education Draft Guidance and Consultation Published


All schools will teach children about good physical and mental health, how to stay safe offline and the importance of healthy relationships under bold new plans published by Education Secretary Damian Hinds.

Under the proposals, all pupils will study compulsory health education as well as new reformed Relationships Education in primary school and Relationships and Sex Education in secondary school. The guidance – which was last updated in 2000 – will become compulsory in all schools across the country from September 2020, and will put in place the building blocks needed for positive and safe relationships of all kinds.


The Children and Social Work Act 2017 placed a duty on the Secretary of State for Education to make the new subjects, Relationships Education at primary and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) at secondary, compulsory through regulations. The Act also provides additional power for the Secretary of State to make Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE), or elements of the subject, mandatory in all schools. The department has engaged thoroughly with a wide range of interested organisations and conducted a call for evidence on the content of the subjects, and the status of PSHE.  The findings gathered from the process have informed the drafting of the regulations, statutory guidance and regulatory impact assessment, on which the department is now consulting. This includes the department’s decision to make Health Education compulsory, not all of PSHE.


This consultation asks for views on the draft regulations and statutory guidance relating to Relationships Education, RSE and Health Education, and whether the statutory guidance provides sufficient information and support to schools in teaching the subjects. The consultation also asks for views on the regulatory impact assessment relating to the subjects. The responses to this consultation will help the department finalise the draft regulations and statutory guidance before the regulations are put before Parliament and the guidance finally published.


The consultation closes on 09 November 2018.   The guidance and online consultation can be found here: https://consult.education.gov.uk/pshe/relationships-education-rse-health-education/   


For further information please contact:James Smith at RSE and PSHE team or email