ASCL responds to Education Secretary’s letter on RSHE materials

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to the Department for Education press release about Education Secretary Gillian Keegan writing to schools over RSHE materials.
“We agree with transparency of materials used in RSHE lessons, and indeed schools will generally share this information upon request. In this context, the clarification over copyright law is helpful. However, we are concerned that the Education Secretary’s letter to schools and parents creates an expectation that schools will publish every piece of planning and resource used across the RSHE curriculum. This is a huge additional workload requirement at a time when they are already significantly overburdened.
“Schools are in fact doing their level best to provide high-quality RSHE despite the lack of sufficient government investment in staff training or resources to deliver this important requirement. It would be far more beneficial for schools and their pupils if the government put more focus on providing specialist training and support.
“Unfortunately, there has been no prior discussion ahead of this letter being sent out and it is slightly odd that the Education Secretary has chosen to write to schools at a time when many of them are on half-term breaks. If the government had spoken to the sector in advance of this statement we might have been able to resolve the practical difficulties it raises.”