At Barnsley Academy, we are passionate about providing our students with a well-rounded curriculum that incorporates the ‘hidden skills/knowledge’ that will help our students nurture their own personal development. Today’s children and young people are growing up in an increasingly complex world and living their lives seamlessly on and offline. This presents many positive and exciting opportunities, but also challenges and risks. In this environment, children and young people need to learn how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their academic, personal and social lives in a positive way.
Some aspects of our PSHE/RSHE/SMSC programme of study incorporate challenging topics, and we make no apologies in ensuring these are delivered to all our students in a safe learning environment. This is so students can ask questions, learn about common misconceptions and prejudices, and be able to make their own informed decisions and choices, after being presented with the full facts.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development is the over-arching umbrella that encompasses personal development across the whole curriculum.
SMSC development is provided in a range of different ways – within the curriculum, within PSHE being delivered within the tutor time programme and extra-curricular activities and opportunities such as assemblies, trips and visits (when available post COVID restrictions).
Parental right to withdraw child from specific sex education lessons within PSHE
“Parents have the right to request that their child be withdrawn from some or all of sex education delivered as part of statutory PSHE programme” (DfE guidance). This does not include relationship education.
Certain lessons are mandatory under the National Curriculum in Science and are excluded from the right of parents to withdraw their children. Such mandatory lessons will not include material on AIDS, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, or any aspect, other than biological aspects of human sexual behaviour.
DfE guidance page 17, para.45 states:
‘Parents have the right to request that their child be withdrawn from some or all of sex education delivered as part of statutory RSE.’. This does not include relationship education or certain lessons which are mandatory under the National Curriculum in Science and are excluded from the right of parents to withdraw their children. Such mandatory lessons will not include material on AIDS, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, or any aspect, other than biological aspects of human sexual behaviour.
If a parent’s request to withdraw their child is granted, Barnsley Academy then know which lessons these students will NOT be allowed to attend.
At Barnsley Academy we have worked through this process, a difficult process as we would prefer not to separate Relationships Education and Sex Education as we aim to deliver holistic learning, and we would prefer all students to receive all of the RSHE programme.
PSHE lessons teaches Sex Education if the following definition is used:
Sex Education: ‘Human reproduction and sexual behaviour’
• How human reproduction can happen (e.g. sexual intercourse, IVF, surrogacy)
• Reproductive health, choices, rights and responsibilities
• Sexual behaviour and sexual health, risks, reasons, rights and responsibilities
If this is accepted as the definition, Barnsley Academy identifies the DfE statutory expectations as core to this definition, and thereby is able to identify the lessons in each year group that include this content, i.e. the lessons ‘withdrawn’ students may need to miss.
The name of the lesson and the topic have been identified.
Using this definition of Sex Education and Barnsley Academy’s interpretation of the guidance, there would be x8 DfE expectations
Year 7 x 2 – Developing sexual awareness (body awareness) and developing sexuality (body awareness)
Year 8 x 1 – Physical intimacy (relationships)
Year 9 x 2- Sexual health and STI’s (body awareness), developing sexuality and readiness for sex (relationships)
Year 10 x 2 - Becoming a parent (relationships), making decisions about sex (relationships),
Year 11 x 2 - Sexual health and STI’s (body awareness), developing sexuality and readiness for sex (relationships)
If a parent of a child in years 7-11 wishes to withdraw their child from specific sex education then they need to inform Ms Kilbane – firstname.lastname@example.org so that alternative provision can be provided.
This can be completed by a parent for any student up to the 3 months before their 16th Birthday.