Excellence in Relationships and Sex Education recognised in first RSE Teaching Awards

A secondary school teacher from London, described as having “bottomless reserves of energy and creativity”, is among the winners of the Relationships and Sex Education Teaching Awards, announced to mark the first national RSE Day on 27th June.

The awards, coordinated by the Sex Education Forum and Nottingham City Council, celebrate the excellent Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) teaching that goes on in schools, helping children and young people learn about healthy relationships and positive sexual health.

Judges looked for whether teaching met the real-life needs of pupils in an age-appropriate way and assessed each contestant for ‘star quality’, that extra something that made their RSE stand out.

The winners in each category are:

Best RSE teacher 2019 in a primary school: Isabel Reid, Carlton Hill Primary School in Brighton.

Nominated because: “Isabel is passionate about ensuring that every child leaves primary school with the skills and knowledge to support them through the complicated teenage years ahead”.

Best RSE teacher 2019 in a secondary school: Lottie Boumeester, Fulham Cross Girls’ School in London.

Nominated because: “She has overhauled the curriculum and lessons are so relevant to both our student context and modern Britain.”

Best RSE teacher 2019 in a special school: Maddy Savit, Blossom House School in London.

Nominated because: “She is always arranging effective and engaging RSE sessions and working with a variety of pupils 1:1.”

Nominations came under the scrutiny of passionate campaigners for high-quality RSE, including:

  • Lynnette Smith, Chair of the Sex Education Forum
  • Jane Lees OBE
  • Joe and Garthia, young people featured in BBC’s ‘Mimi on a Mission’

Lucy Emmerson, Director of the Sex Education Forum, said:

“We’re celebrating these winning schools at an important time: in a few short months RSE will be a statutory part of every child’s education. So it’s really encouraging to see how dedicated school staff are stepping up to the mark and going that extra mile to ensure children get the information they need to understand their bodies, enjoy respectful relationships and stay safe.”

Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, said: 

"Growing up and adolescence are hard enough, but the internet and social media add new pressures that weren’t there even one generation ago. So many things about the way people interact have changed, and this new world, seamless between online and the real world, can be difficult to navigate. It is almost twenty years since the last time guidance on sex education was updated. 

“Good-quality Relationships and Sex Education is vital to ensure children are equipped with the knowledge they need to grow up healthy, happy and safe in the modern world. It’s also important that sex education at secondary school is grounded in a firm understanding and valuing of positive relationships, and respect for others, from primary school age.

“Positive relationships are connected with good mental health, which itself is linked with physical wellbeing. This is why we are making health education universally compulsory alongside relationships and sex education from 2020. These subjects will help young people to be resilient as they chart a course through an ever more complex world.”

The awards are part of national RSE Day celebrations, first developed by Nottingham City Council.

Cllr Neghat Khan, Portfolio Holder for Education at Nottingham City Council, said:

“We’re proud that RSE Day was developed and pioneered in Nottingham and is now being celebrated across the country. RSE Day celebrates positive work around inclusive relationships and sex education in schools and the community. It is a day for everyone to think about their role in promoting healthy relationships and positive sexual health.”

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