Grainne Hallahan

How to teach RSE to post-16 students

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Although relationships and sex education has been updated in schools, the topics are not mandatory in FE – despite the fact that 16- to 19-year-olds are often most in need of them. So, how can colleges deliver RSE that engages learners and protects their health and wellbeing, asks Grainne Hallahan

How to teach RSE to post-16 students

Aged 4 and in primary school, Nancy and Nadeem are taught about relationships. It’s on the curriculum, and their teacher delivers the lessons during circle time. “What is friendship?” she asks. “What makes a good friend?”

Later, when they are aged 11, Nancy and Nadeem’s relationships lessons move on to more practical discussions. What is the proper name for a willy? What is puberty? Throughout secondary school, sex and relationships is taught during PSHE and biology. Nancy and Nadeem get their full complement, as specified in the Department for Education’s guidance.

And yet, when they ...

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