E&C statement on Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and health education:
The RSE Framework was developed by the current government, and one of its key design principles was to help schools to better safeguard their pupils. For example, it supports teachers to help pupils to have the right language and the space to tell someone if they are in danger. Our whole school approach recognises that if our schools teach about consent and healthy relationships, but leave out a large minority of people, those who are part of the LGBT+ community, then we fail in our duty of care to keep every child healthy and safe.
E&C is not, as The Times suggested on 9th March, a ‘sex education campaign group’. E&C is a long-established national charity which works with teachers and school leaders to make schools more inclusive and welcoming to the LGBT+ community including pupils, staff, parents and carers. It provides resources, professional training, support and guidance with the aim of making schools and society safer for everyone.
Our book, How to transform your school into an LGBT+ friendly place: A practical guide for nursery, primary and secondary teachers is extensively mentioned in the recent review. The book was based on research conducted between 2010-2017. It was published in 2018 to fill a gap in appropriate guidance for schools, before the statutory DfE RSE Guidance was shared in September 2019.
There are still gaps in the advice the DfE offers to schools: we await the much-anticipated advice on trans inclusion, which was rescheduled for January 2023. The gap puts schools in a very difficult position with their provision for pupils and families. Schools and parents and carers look for guidance in how to respond to the day-to-day reality of young peoples’ lives.
Answers to recent press interest in our charity:
- E&C were one of the organisations who were part of the DfE Anti-homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying programme 2015-16
- Ofsted have recognised the good practice delivered in schools by E&C, an example called Tackling homophobic bullying and ingrained attitudes at school from 2012 was highlighted in the review. We are not aware of ever using the term ‘endorsed by’.
- We support schools to enable children to choose whatever they want to play with and not to be restricted by stereotyping. For example, all children should be able to play with toy cars. This is commonplace in early years practice.
- Schools already have a very robust set of safeguarding guidelines. E&C works within all current guidelines in education.
- We would welcome the promised government trans inclusion guidance and of course, adjust our training accordingly as we do with any other statutory guidance.
- Common language used within both the education and LGBT+ charity sectors is ‘sexual orientation and gender identity’. This language also reflects DfE guidance.
- Our current resources reflect the language and context for 2023.
- The PRIDE Youth Networks are student led support groups; All information and content is visible on our website.
Educate & Celebrate Board of Trustees