RSE - the role of School Governors

The role of governors

Developing relationships and sex education in schools: guidance and training for school governors (Frances, G. and Power, P., Sex Education Forum, London, 2003) is an excellent tool supporting governors, contact us for more information. The Sex Education Forum has also produced this useful factsheet.

The governors' role is crucial to the success of a school's Healthy Schools programme. They need to ensure that the overarching aims of Healthy Schools work are embedded in the school's plans. They also take a lead in setting the tone for good PSHE, including RSE and drugs education, and in the development of clear policies. The governing body has overall responsibility for the RSE policy but should allow the headteacher and staff to exercise their own professional skills in delivering the curriculum in accordance with that policy.

Rather than being responsible for the detailed content of the RSE curriculum it is the Governing Body's role, through a named governor, to check that the content and organisation complies with the overall policy set by them.

Training for governors, particularly for the named governor, is important in enabling them to exercise their specific responsibilities regarding RSE, Governors are welcome to attend our RSE training courses

Governors & RSE Policy Development

All schools must have an up-to-date RSE policy, drawn up by the governing body in consultation with teachers, pupils and parents. This process should ensure the development of a policy reflecting parents' wishes and the culture of the community the school serves.

It is also important that governors are prepared to publicly endorse the policy and RSE programme in the unlikely event that issues are raised by parents or the local press.

The governors should reconise that the policy needs to be made available for inspection by Ofsted, anyone delivering RSE in the school, and to parents, and must:

  • define RSE
  • describe how RSE is provided and who is responsible for providing it say how RSE is monitored and evaluated
  • include information about parents' right to withdrawal, and be regularly reviewed.

An RSE policy should also:

  • make a public statement of the values the school is committed to and which will inform the RSE policy
  • provide a secure framework for staff to work in
  • provide guidance for all staff and outside visitors on the approach and methodology used in the delivery of RSE, including providing guidance for staff on talking about specific issues such as sexuality, contraception and abortion (where appropriate)
  • make links with the school development plan and other relevant school policies, such as equal opportunities and anti-bullying policies, and give clear guidance on confidentiality, dealing with personal disclosures and child protection issues.