The Children and Social Work Act (2017) places a duty on the Secretary of State to make relationships education mandatory in all primary schools, and relationships and sex education mandatory in all secondary schools, in England.
The Government also made a commitment to ensuring that the updated guidance and regulations for these subjects would be age appropriate and support the knowledge children and young people need to stay safe and to develop positive relationships.
The Department intends to conduct a thorough and wide ranging engagement process on relationships education and relationships and sex education. This will determine the content of the regulations and statutory guidance, covering subject content, school practice and quality of delivery. We will ensure the subjects are carefully designed to safeguard and support pupils whilst being deliverable for schools.
Relationships education and relationships and sex education will be age appropriate, building knowledge over time in a way that prepares pupils for issues they will soon face.
We will set out shortly more details about the engagement process and the work to consider age appropriate subject content. This will result in draft regulations and guidance on which we will consult. Following consultation, regulations will be laid in the House allowing for a full and considered debate.