There have been positive changes in RSHP practice in recent years, evaluations have shown that there is much about RSHP that children and young people like. However, learners also identify shortfalls in key areas such as the breadth of topics, relevance to the pressures they face in current-day relationships and a sense that RSHP is often not a ‘real’ subject, that it is occasionally tagged on, or given low priority.

With this in mind, there is a need to reflect on how the provision of RSHP ensures that learners needs are met in a changing context, whether that is in terms of concerns we may have for children and young people – the influence of pornography, negative experiences of social media or partner violence – or positive cultural shifts such as a better understanding of the rights of learners with disabilities or LGBT young people. Of course, children and young people do not just learn in formal settings, they also learn at home and so a RSHP resource needs to make that connection and recognise the role of parents and carers as the child’s first and lifelong educator.

Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) is transforming all aspects of education in Scotland. The curriculum comprises a broad general education from the age of 3 up to the end of S3 (the third year of secondary education) followed by a senior phase of learning from S4 to S6 in school, or in a College or community setting. RSHP sits within one of 8 curriculum areas, Health and Wellbeing. Curriculum for Excellence articulates a set of clear and concise statements about learning and progression in each curriculum area; called Experiences and Outcomes, they are used to help plan learning and to assess progress. Then there are also Benchmarks which set out clear statements about what learners need to know and be able to do to achieve a level across all curriculum areas.

The resource which will be developed and published on this site will support delivery of RSHP from age 3 to the end of the senior phase. The intention is that an RSHP resource fit for purpose will:

  • Draw on the best practice and teaching material currently used – updating and enhancing where necessary – and produce new material as required.
  • Address the need to improve the quality, relevance, consistency and coverage of RSHP Education.
  • Support professional judgement and progression in learning.
  • Reflect the values and principles which should underpin teaching and learning of RSHP Education. This means taking account of the diversity of learners and making explicit a commitment to the rights of young people including young people with disabilities, girls and young women, and LGBT young people.
  • Consider the training and continuing professional development needs of teachers/facilitators.
  • Sit within a recognition that RSHP Education supports the broader ambition of improving health outcomes for the population.

This programme of work is being supported by a partnership of NHS Boards, Local Authorities, Education Scotland, Scottish Government and Third Sector agencies. For more information about the background to the commission or the managing partners contact Elaine.McCormack@ggc.scot.nhs.uk or Nicky.Coia@ggc.scot.nhs.uk

An independent agency TASC (Scotland) Ltd. has been commissioned to deliver the programme. Contact Colin Morrison colin@tascagency.co.uk