Advisory panel chosen to review RSHE curriculum

An independent expert advisory panel has been selected to advise on the review of the Relationships, Sex and Health Education curriculum, as part of government plans to ensure that RSHE is taught in an age-appropriate and factual way in England.

The panel will provide expert advice to the Education Secretary on what is appropriate to be taught in RSHE and at what age. They will consider evidence provided by Ofsted on what is happening on the ground in schools to ascertain where clear age ratings are needed, to reassure parents that there is no room for disturbing or inappropriate content to be taught in schools.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan, said: "The wellbeing and safeguarding of children is our absolute priority, and I share the concerns of parents and teachers about reports that inappropriate lessons are being taught in schools.

"The vast majority of teachers do an incredible job navigating these complex and sensitive issues. But the review of the statutory guidance - with the help of this expert panel - will provide clear safeguards against children being taught concepts they are too young to understand or that are inappropriate for their age.

"I’m determined to bring forward new guidance as quickly as possible, and schools should continue to engage with parents on lessons that cover the teaching of sensitive issues."

The panel members were carefully considered based on their level of relevant experience and expertise and will bring together input from health, children’s development, and safeguarding:

- Professor Dame Lesley Regan, professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Imperial College London and the government’s first ever Women’s Health Ambassador

- Sir Hamid Patel, Chief Executive of Star Academies

- Helena Brothwell, Regional Director of School Improvement for David Ross Academy Trust

- Alasdair Henderson, barrister specialising in public law, human rights and equality law

- Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for Children and Families in England

The review of the curriculum will also make sure priority issues are given the attention they deserve, including considering new or additional content on mental health, suicide prevention, vaping and tackling violence against women and girls.

The review will be completed by the end of the year, following a consultation in the autumn. Input from the independent panel and wider stakeholders over the summer will inform the consultation.

The panel will begin work immediately and conclude their work by September 2023. The panel members are expected to give their time on a voluntary basis.

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