Relationships and Sexuality Education

Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE)

About Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE)

On this page

Since the revised Northern Ireland Curriculum was introduced, Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) has been a statutory component of the following key areas of learning:

  • Personal Development and Mutual Understanding in the primary curriculum;
  • Personal Development and Home Economics statements of requirement for Key Stage 3; and
  • Personal Development strand of Learning for Life and Work at Key Stage 4.

RSE is a lifelong process. It helps children and young people acquire knowledge, understanding and skills, and develop attitudes, beliefs and values about sexual identity, relationships and intimacy. Effective RSE, which is taught in a sensitive and inclusive manner, encourages children and young people to value themselves as individuals and to make responsible and well-informed decisions about their lives.

The RSE Hub will ensure that schools have access to a range of up-to-date, relevant resources and sources of support for the above priority areas. You can download our guidance documents and existing resources, as well as new RSE resources that we have developed to help teachers address sensitive issues with their pupils. The resources provide minimum content and are designed to offer schools flexibility in their approach to the delivery of RSE. This approach will enable all schools to deliver effective programmes in line with their ethos and RSE policy, and to ensure the wide ranging needs of our young people are met.

You can find more information about the importance of RSE and developing a school RSE policy in our revised guidance for primary and post-primary schools.

The Catholic Schools’ Trustee Service has produced primary and post-primary RSE guidance for Catholic Schools that supports Boards of Governors, Principals and teachers with their work in RSE.

Other guidance such as UNESCO’s international technical guidance on sexuality education may also help schools to develop and implement their RSE programmes and materials.

RSE is an area of significant political and public interest. In light of this, and of changing social issues and attitudes, teachers are asking for clarity on classroom strategies for teaching RSE, particularly in the priority areas of:

The topic areas feature links to:

  • teaching resources from organisations like the NSPCC;
  • guidance documents for schools;
  • background information and guidance for parents and carers;
  • training opportunities for teachers; and
  • support organisations for pupils.

Along with links for each topic, we have also collated some general RSE links that teachers, parents and carers, and pupils might find useful.

The Hub currently contains links to existing support materials that provide a repository of information for schools. Further new teaching resources and materials will be piloted in autumn and will progressively go live during the 2020/21 academic year.

Disclaimer: CCEA is not responsible for the content of linked websites. We do not necessarily endorse, recommend or approve of the content of these sites. We cannot guarantee that these links will work all the time, and we have no control over the availability of linked pages.


For information please contact:

Roisin Radcliffe
Programme Manager
Curriculum Assessment and Reporting
(028) 9026 1200 ext. 2195