Kirklees Council welcomes the new mandatory status of Relationships Education and Health Education in primary schools and Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education for secondary schools, both within our own district and nationally.
We agree that the new national approach, introduced by the Department for Education (DfE), will help to equip children and young people for later life and will support them in being happy, healthy and safe.
In Kirklees we want all children to have the best start in life. This includes promoting inclusivity within our communities, developing positive relationships, helping children to feel safe and welcome in school and aiming to ensure that no child, young person or family feels isolated.
Schools are developing their own curriculum and will have the flexibility to deliver RSHE in a way that is appropriate for their pupils. They will be promoting wellbeing and reflecting a society which supports respect and good health. It is important to note that the DfE's decision is simply giving mandatory status to this teaching from September 2020. Schools throughout the country already teach most of the content outlined in the RSHE guidance.
There are inequalities within Kirklees, just as there are in other areas, and the council is committed to tackling them. Teaching young people about healthy behaviours will help to reduce health inequalities, while helping them to understand the challenges and pressures they may face in life will support their safety, development and welfare, regardless of background.
As a local authority we are highly aspirational for children and young people and we work closely with our family of schools to achieve the highest possible standards. As part of this, we are supporting a group of schools who have joined together to work on the implementation of the guidance across Kirklees and to develop and share good practice. This group consists of 20 representatives from the primary, middle and secondary phases, reflecting the diversity of our schools.
In addition, a governance group is ensuring that schools, the local authority and other highly-valued partners are carefully co-ordinating the mandatory introduction of RSHE - not only so that it complies with the new guidance but, crucially, so that it brings the outcomes we would all wish for our children and young people.
As a local authority - and to support our children and young people - we are continuing our strong tradition of collaboration by engaging with partner organisations, parents and communities to work together and promote best practice.
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