Sex education

Introduction

This forms part of the school’s Personal, Social and Health Education Policy (PSHE) which is available on the website under Our School/Policies.  It has been formulated within the framework set out in recent government documents.  The policy reflects the overall aims of Cheam High School and has been approved by the Governing Body. In particular the policy reflects the aim of Cheam High School to work in partnership with parents/carers and respects the interest and involvement that parents/carers have with this sensitive area of their child’s education.

Aims and Objectives

These are set within the broad aims of Health Education and are specifically:
1) to present facts in an objective and balanced manner so as to enable students to understand the range of sexual attitudes and behaviour in our society
2)  to consider what is legal and what is not legal
3)  to enable students to consider their own attitudes and to help them make informed, reasoned and responsible decisions about the attitudes they will adopt while at school and in adulthood
4)  to set the physical aspects of sexual behaviour within a clear moral framework which encourages self-restraint, dignity and respect for themselves and others
5)  to enable students to recognise the physical, emotional and moral risks of casual and promiscuous sexual behaviour
6)  to foster an appreciation of the benefits of stable relationships and family life

Moral and Values Framework

The moral framework is contained within the aims above, particularly aims 2, 4 and 6.

The sex education provided is set within a clear framework of values and an awareness of the law on sexual behaviour. Students are encouraged to appreciate the value of stable relationships and the responsibilities of parenthood.

Students are also encouraged to consider the importance of respect for themselves and others and sensitivity towards the needs and views of others.

Students are encouraged to recognise the physical, emotional and moral implications and risks of certain types of behaviour. It is acknowledged that some students come from backgrounds that do not reflect such values and sensitivity is required to avoid offending students or their families.

In providing sex education for students the school will respect the religious beliefs and values of all members of its community and make provision to discuss its aims with parents/carers wishing to receive further clarification.   It is recognised that in some cases this may require support to enable parents/carers from all backgrounds to understand their rights. Where students are at an early stage of development of English the usual support will apply.

Organisation of Sex Education

1)  All lessons are taught in classes with students of both sexes.

2)  Staffing - There is a LIFE (PSHE) Subject Leader responsible for the planning of the sex education programme. The programme is taught by all Science teachers and teachers in the LIFE department.   Support is provided for the staff as is required, in conjunction with the Local Health Authority.  The sex education programme is reviewed by the staff teaching the programme within both the LIFE and the Science department meetings at least once each year.

3)  Resources - the material is selected to ensure that it encompasses the aims of sex education and includes printed material, videos and visiting speakers.

Specific Issues Statements

1) Contraception
This is given as factual information to whole classes. If any student requests individual advice they are encouraged to seek advice from their parents/carers and, if appropriate, from the relevant health professional such as their GP or School Nurse. Teachers do not give individual advice.

2) Confidentiality - individually and in the classroom
Within the classroom, teachers will aim to create an atmosphere in which students can be open and honest and feel able to ask any questions. If students disclose information about unlawful behaviour, the teacher will immediately refer the matter to the Designated Teacher for Child Protection who will decide on the action to be taken. Teachers may choose not to answer questions of a precocious nature but refer the student to parents/carers or an external health professional. Teachers may only provide information; they must not proffer advice to individual students.

3) Child withdrawal procedures
Parents/carers have the right to withdraw their child from any or all parts of the school’s programme of sex education apart from those elements that are in the Science National Curriculum. Parents/carers can apply to the Headteacher for withdrawal and are invited to discuss any worries or concerns they may have with the relevant member of the Leadership Team.

4) Procedures for the involvement of visiting speakers
All visiting speakers make a valuable contribution to the education of the pupils and are expected to operate within the school aims. Visiting speakers are usually recommended by the Borough or local schools and are always subject to Safeguarding checks and processes.

Working with Parents/Carers

Parents/carers are encouraged to contact the school about the policy and any queries are dealt with by the member of the Leadership Team with responsibility for line managing this area.

Students are encouraged to discuss their sex education with their parents/carers.  In September, an article is placed in the Cheam High Flyer explaining the sex education programme during the forthcoming year.