News story: Relationships and Sex Education for the 21st Century


Education Secretary Justine Greening has today announced that Ian Bauckham CBE will provide the Department for Education with advice on how relationships education, including relationships and sex education for older children, should be taught in schools.

With 32 years’ experience as a teacher, and 13 years spent as a headteacher, Ian has worked in a variety of roles, including heading up the Association of Schools and College Leaders in 2013 and 2014.

As part of his new role, he will speak to parents, teachers, children and other interested groups about the topics that young people today need to understand to stay safe and happy, including age-appropriate content on mental wellbeing, keeping safe online and LGBT issues.

Education Secretary Justine Greening said:

We want all young people to feel equipped to have healthy and respectful relationships, so they can succeed in adult life in modern Britain. That’s why we’ve committed to making sure more children learn these important lessons as they grow up.

I’m delighted that Ian Bauckham will be working with us to gather views from a variety of interested stakeholders and to make sure we are reaching as many people as possible.

Ian Bauckham CBE said:

As we work to update relationships and sex education and consider the role and importance of PSHE in schools, I am looking forward to meeting and hearing from a wide range of interested parties. Schools, pupils, parents, teachers and a range of groups with valuable experience in these areas will have important views and insights to share to help the government shape the next stage of schools’ work on RSE and PSHE. As a teacher and headteacher I am pleased to be able to contribute to this important work which will help to make our young people safer and better prepared for the complex world in which they will live.

Relationships and sex education is a key part of the government’s wider plan to ensure every young person has the essential knowledge they need to stay safe and develop healthy relationships.

Currently only pupils attending local-authority run secondary schools – which represent around a third of secondary schools – are guaranteed to be offered Sex and Relationships Education as currently delivered.

The teaching of this important subject in schools is supported by the wider public. Recent surveys show that:

· 91% of parents believe all pupils should receive lessons to teach them about the risks of sexting, as well as other issues such as contact from strangers online; and

· 74% of 11 – 15 years old believe that children would be safer if they had age appropriate classes on relationships and sex education.

Ian Bauckham, who was awarded the CBE in 2017 for services to education, will advise on this process. As well as starting a multi academy trust, he is head teacher of a large 11-18 Church of England comprehensive in Kent and, as a National Leader of Education (NLE), works with many other schools in the region and more widely.

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