The Hathershaw College

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Relationships and Sex Education Policy


Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) is the right and responsibility of the parent/carer.  The College provides RSE to support parents/carers in fulfilling their responsibility and to contribute to every students’ health, wellbeing and preparation for adult life. 

The students at the College come from diverse backgrounds, expressing a spectrum of beliefs and values. Together with our Governing Body, we have consulted and developed a familiarity with the beliefs and attitudes which our range of families have about issues such as: 

  • relationships and sex education
  • abortion
  • contraception
  • LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans +)
  • sex outside marriage


Section 1- The aims of Relationships and Sex Education 

The aim of this policy is to communicate to staff, governors, parents/carers, visitors and students the manner in which RSE will be delivered and supported at the College. 

The aims are: 

  • To enable our students to better understand the nature of relationships
  • To enable students to see the importance of marriage and stable loving relationships for the bringing up of children
  • To prepare students for the changes that occur to their bodies, minds and emotions as a consequence of growth from childhood to adulthood
  • To know about the risks of being online and how to stay safe
  • To support all young people to stay safe and prepare for life in modern Britain.


For further information on how we keep our students safe consult our Safeguarding Policy via the College’s website: 


Section 2- What is effective Relationships and Sex Education? 

It is lifelong learning about physical, moral and emotional development. It is about the understanding of the importance of a stable and loving relationship. It is also about the teaching of sex, sexuality, and sexual health as well as preparing students at school for opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. It is not about the promotion of sexual orientation or sexual activity – this would be inappropriate teaching. Our curriculum is also designed to support children growing up in an increasingly complex and digital world. Whilst the internet is an overwhelmingly positive development in our lives, it does present significant challenges, particularly for young people. The dominance of social media, the prevalence of cyber-bullying and the risk that children learn about relationships from untrustworthy sources – we aim to support children to make the right decisions and keep themselves safe and happy.


For further information on how we keep our students safe consult our Safeguarding Policy via the College’s website:


2.1 Attitudes and values 

Students are helped to examine the value of family life, marriage, and stable and loving relationships for the nurture of children. They are also encouraged to explore and consider moral dilemmas. RSE can also help pupils to develop a good self-image and high self-esteem, responsibility and the ability to make informed decisions.

2.2 Personal and social skills 

RSE encourages students to manage emotions and relationships confidently and sensitively whilst developing self-respect and empathy for others. Students are taught to make choices based on an understanding of difference, with an absence of prejudice and learning how to recognise and avoid exploitation and abuse. It also provides opportunities to develop communication skills and assertiveness within a range of different situations.

2.3 Knowledge and understanding 

RSE focuses on understanding physical development at appropriate stages. The students will explore; human sexuality, reproduction, sexual health, emotions and relationships. Students will also be provided with information on contraception and the range of local and national sexual health advice support services. Students will look at the reasons for delaying sexual activity, the benefits to be gained from such delay and the avoidance of unplanned pregnancy.

This will provide an objective and balanced view of sexual matters, correcting any misconceptions and misinformation students may have gained.


Section 3- Delivery of RSE at The Hathershaw College 

3.1 How is relationships and sex education organised? 

At the College RSE is not an isolated subject; it permeates the whole curriculum and the pastoral system. Citizenship, Religious Education and Science provide a focus for exploring some elements of RSE. The Assistant Principal responsible for Citizenship leads on the overall planning of RSE.   

3.2 How is relationships and sex education taught? 

The content of the College’s programme is based on the Science National Curriculum, the RE curriculum and the Citizenship curriculum. The College recognises the need to create a supportive and secure atmosphere where students can develop the confidence needed to talk, listen and think about sex and relationships. In order to do this, teachers will: 

  • Establish ground rules with students
  • Emphasise the importance of mutual respect
  • Encourage reflection
  • Make students aware of the relevant persons to approach in the College.

The College draws on a range of teaching methods in order to encourage exploration of attitudes, values and beliefs, using active learning methods which involve students and help them to personalise information. 

We understand that teaching RSE in a secondary school should build on the learning at primary school. Through our network of feeder primary schools we work together to establish a benchmark for RSE provision to ensure that this learning will be built on developmentally.

3.4 Specialist support 

The College also recognises that some aspects of RSE must be taught by specialists. From time to time the College will invite professional health experts in to deliver issues relating to RSE.

These will be asked to conform to the following: 

  • Visitors contributing to RSE will do so at the invitation of the College and will be qualified to make an appropriate contribution
  • Visitors must agree with the aims of the College in delivering its policy on RSE
  • When in class visitors will be supervised by a teacher who will be present at all times
  • Visitors will follow the College’s Child Protection Procedures if a disclosure occurs within the classroom setting
  • Visitors will know and understand where their contribution fits into the College’s programme for RSE and Citizenship. 

3.5 Dealing with sensitive issues 

All teachers are given training on handling controversial topics, are made clear about confidentiality boundaries and know where/who to refer students to for confidential advice and support. 

RSE is part of the College’s provision for Spiritual, Moral Social and Cultural development. The following are protocols for discussion based lessons with students: 

  • No one (teacher or student) will have to answer a personal question
  • No one will be forced to take part in a discussion
  • Meanings of words will be explained in a sensible and factual way
  • Teachers may use their discretion in responding to questions and may say that the appropriate person to answer that question is the parent/carer
  • It is expected that teachers’ personal beliefs and attitudes will not influence their teaching of RSE
  • If at any point a disclosure is made by a student it is the responsibility of the member of staff to follow the schools’ safeguarding policy and notify the College’s Designated Safeguarding Lead.

For further information on how we keep our students safe consult our Safeguarding Policy via the College’s website: 


Section 4- Parental right to withdrawal from RSE 

RSE is part of all students’ education and it is hoped that all will participate. Some parts of RSE are compulsory – these are part of the National Curriculum for Science. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from the [non-statutory/non-science] componants of sex education within RSE up to and until 3 terms before the child turns 16. After this point, if the child wishes to recieve sex education rather than being withdrawn, the school will arrange this.

Requests for withdrawal should be put in writing using the form found in Appendix 1 of this policy and addressed to the Principal. A copy of withdrawal requests will be placed in the pupil's educational record. The Principal will discuss the request with parents and take appropriate action. When the Principal receives such a letter he will invite the parents/carers to a meeting, at which the Principal will explain clearly what the College’s policy is and seek to accommodate the wishes and/or concerns of the parents/carers. If that is not possible the pupil will be withdrawn from RSE and placed in another class where suitable work and supervision will be provided.


Section 5- Procedure for Monitoring and evaluating RSE 

The policy and its implementation will be reviewed every 12 months. The college’s RSE link governor is Cllr Ateeque Ur-Rehman. RSE will be monitored by the Assistant Principal, Andy Potts, whose responsibility it is to: 

  • Ensure that RSE is covered in the schemes of work for Citizenship
  • Monitor the use of teaching and learning styles
  • Monitor the use of teaching materials
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the schools programme
  • Ensure the content is age appropriate.


To view details of the Citizenship curriculum visit the Statutory Information page on the College website:



Useful links for Parents: 



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