Policy & Campaigns

Advocating, advising and campaigning

The Sex Education Forum advocate and campaign to ensure children and young people's entitlement to SRE is firmly embedded into national and local government policies and public understanding.

Current legislation

The current legislation relating to SRE is explained in "SRE advice for schools" SRE for the 21st Century - supplementary advice for schools (2014).  New legislation passed in March 2017 makes RSE statutory in schools from September 2019. See our FAQs about the new legislation

A briefing on the sex education content in science in the new National Curriculum and GCSE subject content is available for Sex Education Forum members.

SRE - it's my right - our campaign for statutory SRE

In June 2014 we launched 'SRE - it's my right' to accelerate our campaign for statutory SRE. Have a look at the campaign time-line so see how the campaign gathered pace.

In March 2017 a campaign victory was achieved, and the legislation changed: The Children and Social Work Act 2017 has now gone through both houses of Parliament and received Royal Assent. Therefore statutory Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and relationships education (in primary schools) is now law, and schools must provide this by September 2019.  

Our latest policy responses and public statements can be accessed below in date order and you can also follow developments via social media or by signing up for free email updates.


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Latest News


Statutory RSE becomes reality!
In March 2017 the Children and Social Work Act received Royal Assent, making it law for all secondary schools to provide RSE (from September 2019) and for all primary schools to provide relationships education (from September 2019). To find out more about what this means have a look at our legislation FAQs

Email your MP campaign launched

In September 2016, the Sex Education Forum called on constituents to email their MP asking them to contact the new Secretary of State, Justine Greening, on their behalf, asking if they will personally support statutory SRE. We published 'Talking SRE - a guide to meeting your MP about SRE', which explains how to set up a meeting and includes key facts that you can print out and take with you to a meeting. 

Women and Equalities Committee calls for statutory SRE
Reporting on their inquiry into sexual harrassment and sexual violence in schools the Women and Equalities Select Committee has recommended that SRE becomes statutory in primary and secondary schools (13 September 2016). Read the report, and the Sex Education Forum's statement.

Vera Baird QC calls for statutory SRE
The Sex Education Forum welcomes Vera Baird QC's call on government (01 August 2016) to make sex education compulsory in all schools, at both primary and secondary levels.

SRE invisible in education White Paper
Jane Lees, Chair of the Sex Education Forum responds to the publication of 'Educational Excellence Everywhere', which fails to make progress on SRE and risks a backward step because there is no requirement for academies to teach SRE (18 March 2016). 

Teenage pregnancy statistics at record low
Commenting on the latest statistics published by ONS, Lucy Emmerson, Coordinator of the Sex Education Forum explains that the SRE on offer for young people is far from standard and that thedownward trend in teenage conceptions can only be sustained if SRE becomes a statutory requirement in all schools (09 March 2016). 

UN recommends mandatory SRE
Responding to the UN’s verdict on the UK’s child rights record the Sex Education Forum welcomes the recommendation that the Government ‘ensure that meaningful sexual and reproductive health education is part of the mandatory school curriculum for all schools’ (June 2016).

Parliamentary briefing - 20 January 2016
The Sex Education Forum is holding a briefing event about SRE in Portcullis House, Westminster from 1-3pm on 20 January 2016, hosted by Caroline Nokes MP. See briefing summary and programme

Gaps in SRE leave too many children at risk
Campaigners at the Sex Education Forum are calling for mandatory status for sex and relationships education (SRE) in all schools, after a survey of over 2000 young people found that their safety is being undermined by dramatic variations in what is taught (20 January 2016).


Policy news archive

More policy news from recent years in our archive - charting a decade of SRE campaigning!