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Statutory guidance Sex and relationships education in schools

Guidance on how schools should develop their sex education policy.

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Sex education policies

Governing bodies of all maintained schools are required to make, and keep up-to-date, a separate written statement of their policy with regard to the provision of sex education.

Schools are also required to make copies of this available for inspection by parents/carers of registered learners at the school. They must also provide a copy of the statement free of charge to any parent/carer who asks for one. The policy must include a statement about the parents'/carers' right to withdraw their child from sex education.

Provision of sex education

Primary schools are not required to provide sex education as part of the basic curriculum. Primary schools can provide sex education but whether they do so is at the discretion of the school.

All maintained secondary schools are required to include sex education for all registered learners as part of the basic curriculum of the school.

Maintained special schools and Pupil Referral Units can provide sex education for primary age learners. They must provide sex education for secondary age learners registered at the school.

Guidance on sex and relationships education

Updated guidance for use in schools in Wales is now available as a web-based document. From September 2010, Sex and relationships education in schools, Welsh Assembly Government Circular 019/2010 replaced the previous circular, Sex and relationships education in schools National Assembly for Wales Circular No 11/02.

The guidance circular provides information to schools on:

  • strategic planning for sex and relationships education
  • developing effective sex and relationships education
  • working in partnership with parents/carers and the wider community.

The guidance is supported by supplementary materials to help schools in the delivery of their sex and relationships education programmes.

If you have any questions about sex education in schools in Wales, please e-mail personalandsocialeducationenquiries@wales.gsi.gov.uk

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