Sex and Relationships Policy

Status:

Ratified

Drafted by:

Governing Body

Ratified by Governors:

19/5/16

The Governing Body is responsible for establishing and maintaining this Behaviour policy and for ensuring that it is followed.  The Principal is responsible for implementing the decisions of the Learning Provision Committee and for complying with this policy. The policy applies to the Principal and to all staff employed by the Academy.

Contents

Route 39 Academy

Sex and Relationships Policy

Contents

Introduction

Academy Values

Background Information

What is sex and relationship education?

Content

Discussion and Project Learning

Organisation

Management Structure

Teaching Approaches

Student Groupings

Ground Rules

Dealing with Questions

Reflection

The Academy’s use of appropriate materials:

Specific Issues

Parents/Carers and Home Support

Culture

Special Educational Needs

Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation

Sensitive Issues

Rights to Parental Withdrawal

Community Expertise

Confidentiality and Child Protection

Personal Disclosure

Health Professionals

Monitoring and Reviewing

Introduction

This Sex and Relationships Policy has been written to take account of the latest DfE Sex and Relationship Education Guidance, published in July 2000, the revised National Curriculum published in September 1999 and Every Child Matters 2004.

In addition, the ‘Personal, Social and Health Education at Key Stages 3 and 4: Initial Guidance for Schools’, published by the QCA 2000, and the ‘Framework for Personal and Social Development: PASSPORT’ documents were also consulted.

At Route 39 Academy we support the belief that ‘effective sex and relationship education is essential if young people are to make responsible and well informed decisions about their lives’ and that it should not be taught in isolation. We recognise the importance of sexuality and relationships in all our lives and we are committed to ensuring that our students receive effective teaching and support in this challenging aspect of personal and social development.

All staff, community members and outside agencies who play a part in the delivery of sex and relationship education are aware of their duty to do so in a way that meets the needs of the students at all stages of their development, satisfies the expectations of parents and governors and that also makes sense in the context of a society in which sexual matters are becoming more and more explicitly expressed.

Academy Values

At Route 39 Academy we believe that sex and relationship education should:

Above all effective sex and relationship education should help young people develop the skills, knowledge and understanding they will need to lead confident, healthy, independent and responsible adult lives.

It is against this background that the governors, parents, teachers and community members associated with Route 39 Academy have developed our Sex and Relationship Education Policy.

Background Information

Route 39 Academy is a non-selective state school which, when fully developed, will take students aged between 11-18. Students are drawn from nearby villages and local towns. The catchment of the Academy reflects a range of social, ethnic and religious groupings.

The AIMS of our sex and relationship education:

Route 39 Academy believes that sex and relationship education is an educational entitlement of all students and an integral part of each student’s emergence into adulthood. We aim:

The overall aim of this policy is to clearly and comprehensively communicate to staff, governors, parents, students and visitors the manner in which sex and relationship education will be delivered in this Academy.

What is sex and relationship education?

At Route 39 Academy we believe that sex and relationship education is lifelong learning regarding physical, moral and emotional development. It is about the understanding of the importance of family life, stable and loving relationships, including marriage, and having a respectful and caring attitude towards others. It is also about the teaching of sex, sexuality and sexual health. It will play an important role, alongside other aspects of the curriculum and Academy life, in preparing our students for adult life. It is not about the promotion of sexual orientation or early sexual experimentation because this would be inappropriate and potentially abusive.

Content

Sex and relationship education has three main elements:

  1. Attitudes and Values
  1. Personal and social skills
  1. Knowledge and understanding

Discussion and Project Learning

At Route 39 Academy our linked curriculum approach enables  the delivery of sex and relationship education to be coherent and meaningful for our students .  

We endeavour to provide opportunities , where appropriate, for students to take part in structured activities in which they can:

Organisation

Management Structure

The Principal is primarily responsible for the overall, implementation and review of the sex and relationship education programme. The leadership team are responsible for planning the programme and ensuring a coherent approach across the curriculum.

Every member of staff is expected to present to students a calm and sensitive approach to human sexuality, underpinning the quality of sex education. It is important that staff feel comfortable with the subject matter and have access to training, as required.

Delivery is through:

Teaching Approaches

A variety of teaching methods are employed to give students useful information and to help them develop appropriate decision-making skills. Teaching approaches including quizzes, role-play scenarios, individual tasks and group posters. In addition, open discussions keep the students interested and motivated and enable social and moral dilemmas to be explored in a safe and secure atmosphere.

The strong relationships developed at Route 39 Academy support students to be feel able to openly discuss social and emotional issues that affect both themselves and society, including sexual intercourse, contraception, pregnancy and bringing up children, and the importance of loving and stable relationships. Students need opportunity to speak and listen to each other and to reflect on both their own experiences and those of others,  gain an awareness of the choices open to them and also consider the potential outcomes of their actions.

Our sex and relationship education programme is not just what is ‘taught’ in the classroom. Our students learn from the overall ethos of the Academy – from attitudes of staff, governors and from positive relationships with people they encounter on a daily basis. It is important that all staff discuss the Academy’s approach to sex and relationship education in the broad sense because with an increased understanding, and relevant training and support, most teachers feel able to make a positive contribution to the ‘whole curriculum’.

The quality of support available for individual students worried or threatened by some aspects of their development, relationships or environment is of the utmost importance. Our Personal Coaches provide invaluable key adult who can provide guidance and support to our students in times of need, and identify when to refer a student for specialist counselling and support services.

Student Groupings

Students will usually be taught or undertake planned activities or events in mixed gender groups with other students of their chronological age, unless there is good reason and parent permission, for them to be taught outside these groupings.

When there is specific need alternative arrangements will be made to teach students in same sex groupings.

Ground Rules

We feel it essential that the school assists students in developing confidence when talking, listening and thinking about sex and relationships, therefore, our staff establish basic ground rules, use distancing techniques, deal effectively with unexpected questions and comments, encourage discussion learning methods, provide good materials and encourage reflection.

Ground rules for all sessions are:

It is our policy to prevent both teacher and student embarrassment by always depersonalising discussions. Use of role-play scenarios, case studies with invented characters, appropriate videos and visits from theatre in education groups. These resources can help students discuss sensitive issues, debate moral dilemmas and further develop their decision-making skills in a safe environment.

Dealing with Questions

At Route 39 Academy  we feel it is vital that staff involved in the delivery of the sex and relationship education programme establish clear parameters of what is appropriate and inappropriate in a whole class setting, in order to reduce the incidence of inappropriate questions and comments by students.

For example:

Reflection

At the end of each part of the sex and relationship education programme, there will be an opportunity for students to reflect on the session. Time for reflection is important and encourages students to consolidate the skills they have learned. It is also important that questions remaining at the end of the session are posed either orally or in the form of a student evaluation sheet/survey so as to inform future learning.

The Academy’s use of appropriate materials:

Resources are individually considered in order to ensure that students are not exposed to inappropriate and explicit images or to materials that are not directly relevant. All materials used are taken from approved published schemes and are chosen with regard to the age and cultural background of the students at the Academy.

The Academy is also aware of the need to protect students from accessing unsuitable materials on the Internet. Therefore our IT systems are set up in such a way as to help prevent students from viewing unsuitable images and reading inappropriate information.

Specific Issues

The Academy approach to teaching sex and relationship education is influenced by a variety of factors:

Parents/Carers and Home Support

The Academy realises that often students cannot talk openly to their parents about puberty and sexual matters. Some young men and women rely on school as their main and sometimes only source of sex and relationship education.

However parent involvement and support is a key aspect of Route 39 Academy and ideally students should be able to speak to their parents. We will therefore ensure that parents are aware of the Sex and Relationships curriculum and offer parent support and learning sessions.

Culture

Resources and schemes of work should be both culturally appropriate and inclusive of all students. Single sex groupings may be important for students who come from cultures where it is only acceptable to speak about the body in single gender groups. The Academy will consult the students and their families in this instance and the take appropriate action.

Special Educational Needs

The Academy works hard to ensure that any student with special educational needs is fully included in sex and relationship education. Some students need help to develop the skills to understand their physical and emotional development and enable them to make positive decisions about their lives. They may also need support when developing skills to reduce the risk of being sexually abused or exploited, when learning what kinds of behaviour are acceptable, and in learning who to turn to for advice.


Along with all other areas of the curriculum we will personalise learning in order to meet the individual needs of all students, inclusive of those with special educational needs. Every student is included in health education and all ancillary staff, nurses and carers follow the Academy’s Sex and Relationship Policy when working with students, whatever their needs.

Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation

The Academy recognises that young people, whatever their developing sexuality, need to feel that sex and relationship education is relevant to them and sensitive to their needs. Staff members deal honestly and sensitively with sexual orientation, answer appropriate questions and offer support – they do not directly promote any sexual orientation.

The Academy does not tolerate bullying behaviour of any kind and works to deal swiftly with any incidents of emotional distress caused by bullying behaviour in whatever form (see the Prevention of Bullying Policy).

Sensitive Issues

At Route 39 Academy we work hard to ensure that the personal beliefs and attitudes of our staff will not influence the teaching of sex and relationship education. All staff are aware of their duty and responsibility to work within the agreed values framework outlined in this policy, which is in line with legislation, and supported by the ethos of the whole the Academy. Staff will receive support and training where necessary in order to deliver our programme sensitively and effectively.


Also, the safety and welfare of all our students is a priority and our staff realise that they occupy a position of trust. They know the law regarding sexual relationships involving students that a sexual relationship between any student and teacher at the Academy is a breach of that trust and abusive.

Any breach of this trust will constitute serious misconduct on the part of the teacher and will result in disciplinary action. It may also lead to a teacher being barred from further employment in the education service by the Secretary of State.

Rights to Parental Withdrawal

At Route 39 Academy we recognise that parents are the key people in teaching their children about sex, relationships and growing up. However, we also accept that for a variety of reasons many parents find it difficult to talk openly to their children about sex and relationships. As an Academy we endeavour to support parents in their role as sex educators and we strive to work in partnership with parents wherever possible.

We also acknowledge that parents have the right to withdraw their children from some or all parts of our sex and relationship education programme except for those parts included in the statutory National Curriculum for Science. Alternative provision will be made for these students that are withdrawn and we will make information available to parents who choose to withdraw their children from sex and relationship education.

Community Expertise

Route 39 Academy will make sure that skilled members of the wider community are involved in, and enhance, the delivery of sex and relationship education. A range of people in the wider community including health professionals, youth workers and peer educators  can come to the Academy and work with our students. These community members will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge, which complements and extends that of our staff members. In addition, they can provide new perspectives and innovative resources. All the health professional and other community members must work within the Academy sex and relationship guidelines and other relevant policies.

Confidentiality and Child Protection

All staff at Route 39 Academy are regularly trained in child protection and know what to do if they are worried that a child is being abused.

They are also aware of the Academy legal and professional role and responsibilities.

Personal Disclosure

We believe that effective sex and relationship education should enable young people to talk to a trusted adult and confide if they are having sex or contemplating doing so. We also recognise that although this should ideally be a parent or carer, a young person may find it easier to talk to someone outside the family.

The law allows health professionals to see and sometimes treat young people confidentially, without their parents’ knowledge, we know that this will include counselling and encouraging the student to talk to their parents. If a student decides to reserve their right to confidentiality the Academy will work alongside the health services to ensure that the young person has access to relevant support.

If any student under the age of 16 years old discloses that they are having or contemplating having sexual intercourse, staff should take the following steps:

In the case of a student over the age of 16, it is important that if the young person discloses the following, advice is sought from the Director of Specialist Provision:

Health Professionals

Health Professionals are bound by their professional codes of conduct in one-to-one situations with individual students, but in a classroom situation they are expected, in addition,  to follow the established ground rules and the Academy guidelines.

Monitoring and Reviewing

Each phase teaching team will collaborate in the monitoring, quality assurance and appropriateness of delivery across the phase by analysing the planning, students’ work and the evidence of impact of activities.