SRE policy guidance

Help is available to get your school policy on sex and relationships education up to speed

Media release: Tuesday 23rd September 2014

The Sex Education Forum has today published new guidance advising how parents, teachers and pupils can be involved in the process of reviewing and updating their school’s sex and relationships education (SRE) policy.

The guidance has been commissioned by Leicestershire County Council’s Public Health Department to ensure that academies, free schools and maintained schools in the county are all up to speed with best practice.

Both primary and secondary schools are legally obliged to have an up-to-date SRE policy that describes how SRE is taught.

But data collected by the Sex Education Forum earlier this year shows that only half of schools have updated their SRE policy within the last two years. Some schools (6%) said they do not have a policy on SRE at all. 

The need for good quality sex and relationships education (SRE) in both primary and secondary schools has never been clearer, but many schools are unsure about current requirements and are anxious about what to teach, and when and how to teach it. 

Ernie White, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for health, said: “We were pleased to be able to fund this project which will provide schools in the county with the help and support they need to update their school SRE policies.”

“We recognise the importance of high quality SRE as a vital ingredient in the health and well-being of children and young people so, in the interests of public health, we must ensure that every child’s entitlement to SRE is embedded in school policy.”

Lucy Emmerson, Coordinator of the Sex Education Forum said:
“A good SRE policy makes the school’s commitment to the safety and well-being of pupils really clear. It explains how teaching children about their bodies and growing up, and crucially about relationships and consent, will help nurture children on their journey to adulthood.”

“The best SRE policies reflect an open conversation about the subject which includes parents and carers, governors, staff and pupils. Our new guidance provides step-by-step information about creating and updating the school policy”.

To access the new guidance on SRE policies visit:


About the survey

A survey of 208 SRE teachers in England was conducted online between 28 Feb and 30 May 2014.

As well as the results detailed above, the survey also showed:

  • 51% have updated their SRE policy in the last 2 years
  • 6% don’t have a policy
  • 5% updated their policy ‘more than 5 years ago’
  • There is no SRE in a handful of the schools surveyed (2%).

About the Sex Education Forum

The Sex Education Forum is the national authority on sex and relationships education (SRE). We believe that good quality SRE is an entitlement for all children and young people and we are working with our member organisations - including religious, children's, parents, health and education organisations - to achieve this. For further information visit:

About the National Children's Bureau

The National Children's Bureau (NCB) is a leading charity that for 50 years has been improving the lives of children and young people, especially the most vulnerable. We work with children and for children, to influence government policy, be a strong voice for young people and practitioners, and provide creative solutions on a range of social issues. For more information visit

For more information please contact the National Children's Bureau's media office on 0207 843 6045 / 47 or email For urgent enquiries out of office hours call 07721 097 033.