DfE Guidance on RSE: What it means for pupils with SEND

In anticipation of RSE becoming statutory in September 2020, the Department for Education (DfE) have clarified these key messages:

  • RSE is for all pupils, including those with SEND and those in special schools, hospital schools and alternative provision.
  • Schools have existing duties to provide access to high-quality teaching through a differentiated curriculum where necessary.
  • The wording on a Right to withdraw has been clarified – as per the legal requirement, DfE are retaining the new proposed right, but have clarified how the decisions of head teachers should take into account SEND and how the decisions should be recorded.

DfE have confirmed their commitment to supporting schools through training, providing advice to improve practice and sharing of best practices from early adopter schools, which they see as a great opportunity to highlight effective practice for pupils with SEND.

The department is also looking for schools to act as early adopters of this curriculum and begin teaching the new subjects from September 2019. 

More information on the early adopter programme can be found here, and the changes around RSE legislation here