Relationships and sexuality education

The Department of Education requires all grant-aided schools to develop their own policy on how they will address Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) within the curriculum. A school’s policy should reflect the school’s ethos and should be subject to consultation with parents and pupils and endorsed by the Board of Governors.

Updated RSE guidance

Following publication of an evaluation of Relationships and Sexuality Education in post-primary schools by the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) the Department commissioned the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) to develop updated RSE guidance for teachers.

CCEA’s updated guidance focuses on providing advice and an overall framework for the development of schools’ policies and outlines the importance of RSE and its relevance to issues faced by young people today. It also provides a resource directory to signpost schools to other resources which teachers and pupils may find helpful.

The ETI report stated that teachers required more help to deal with sensitive issues. CCEA has produced separate specific guidance to support schools to plan and develop approaches to teaching controversial/sensitive issues at whole-school and classroom levels and this has been referenced in the revised RSE guidance.

The updated guidance can be accessed on the CCEA website at the links below:

The circular advises school authorities about revised RSE guidance produced by CCEA on behalf of the Department of Education

Advice on best practice

The Education and Training Inspectorate's (ETI) evaluation of Relationships and Sexuality Education in Post-Primary Schools is accessible on the ETI website.

Relationships and Sexuality Education provides advice to schools on the best practice characteristics identified by the ETI in relation to the provision of Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE).

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