Relationships, sex and health education

The Department for Education (DfE) has published a report looking at how schools in England were developing their existing physical, social, health and economic (PSHE) education to prepare for statutory relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) requirements, which came into force in September 2020. This research was carried out between October and December 2019, in schools that were early adopters of the new requirements, and reflects some examples of school practice at a point in time before the introduction of compulsory RSHE.

Read the report: RSHE: school practice in early adopter schools

Source: Department for Education

Child sexual abuse


The National Crime Agency (NCA) has published the 2021 National Strategic Assessment (NSA) of serious and organised crime in the UK. The assessment estimates there is between 550,000 and 850,000 people in the UK who pose varying forms of sexual risk to children. The NCA reports that collaboration with policing and other key partners has resulted in the safeguarding of nearly ten thousand children in the first nine months of 2020/21 and more than 7,000 arrests.

Read the news story:Online is the new frontline in fight against organised crime– says NCA on publication of annual threat assessment
Read the report: National Strategic Assessment of serious and organised crime (PDF)

Source: National Crime Agency

Sexual abuse in schools

BBC News reports on findings from a survey of more than 1,500 UK teachers carried out by BBC Radio 4’s File on 4 and NASUWT, the Teachers’ Union looking at sexual abuse in schools. Findings include: almost a third of teachers surveyed said they had witnessed peer-on-peer sexual harassment or abuse; almost one in 10 said they saw it on a weekly basis; and more than half said they did not think adequate procedures were in place in their schools to deal with abuse. The File on 4 programme is available on BBC Sounds.

Read the news story: Teachers ‘struggle to deal with classroom sexual abuse’
Listen on BBC Sounds:Sexual abuse in schools 

Source: BBC News

Relationships, sex and health education

Source: Department for Education
Date: 16 March 2021

The Department for Education (DfE) has updated its support and training materials for schools to help train teachers on relationships, sex and health education (RHSE) in England to include a training module on teaching RSHE to pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Separately, a DfE blog discusses the role of schools in teaching about healthy relationships and consent.

Read the guidance: Teaching about relationships, sex and health
Read the blog:How schools and colleges are helping build a safer society based on respecting others and healthy relationships

Care applications

Source: Cafcass
Date: 10 March 2021

Cafcass has published care application statistics for England for February 2021. Figures show that Cafcass received 962 new care applications in February 2021, which is 6.2% (64) fewer than the same period in 2020. These applications involved 1,519 children, which is 9.2% (153 children) fewer than February 2020.

View the data: Public law data: number of care applications received