Teaching young people about dating and sex
Last updated January 2011 Sex and relationships education (SRE) is learning about the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up, relationships, sex, human sexuality and sexual health.
It should equip children and young people with the information, skills and values to have safe, fulfilling and enjoyable relationships and to take responsibility for their sexual health and well-being.(1) Sex and relationships education factsheet (PDF) You can download, but not print, our factsheet PDFs. The aspects of SRE that are not included in the science curriculum are delivered through personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education.
Elements of the guidance are supported by the Learning and Skills Act 2000.
Under the Education Act 2002, SRE became a compulsory part of the basic curriculum in all secondary schools.
The SRE guidance in each country aims to help schools in drawing up their own policy on confidentiality, which should be clear, meet the best interests of young people and be workable by staff.(5,8,11,15) Policies and guidance may vary in different parts of the UK.
Teachers will not always be able to maintain confidentiality where a young person discloses information either in the classroom or in a one-to-one situation.
Local policies may vary, particularly around child protection issues for young people under the age of 13.
School nurses and other outside visitors involved in the delivery of SRE should follow the school's confidentiality and SRE policy.
A new curriculum for 3–18 years, introduced in August 2010, aims to enable each child or young person to be a successful learner, a confident individual, a responsible citizen and an effective contributor.
Primary schools are also required to have a policy on SRE, outlining details of their SRE programme or explaining their decision not to provide SRE.