The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Evie Prysor-Jones

How to talk to parents about sex education

Sex and relationships education can be a controversial topic for some parents. Stephen De Silva's template letter will help explain your school's PSHE curriculum.

Personal, social and health education (PSHE), and sex and relationship education (SRE) in particular, is of increasing importance for children and young people. With rising accounts of child sexual exploitation throughout the UK it is vital that pupils learn how to feel confident and knowledgeable about sex, relationships and what to do if they have concerns.

Parental concerns

For many parents, however, the idea that their children are being educated on topics such as homosexuality, pornography or consent is a major worry. One of the misconceptions most often heard is that by learning about these topics children and young people are being encouraged to start sexual activity or being confused about their sexuality.

For schools, this makes it increasingly difficult to maintain the balance between keeping parents informed of subjects being taught, and making sure pupils are not taken out of class and missing out on vital education.

Sending the right message


This template letter can be used as a base to structure your communication with parents about SRE. It can be tailored depending on the topics you have chosen to cover, and the age of the pupils.

Download the template letter

The list included is a suggestion, but it’s important not to shy away from including topics, such as pornography, that you know some parents may be alarmed by. The template will help you explain why you believe such topics should be included and the additional FAQ sheet demonstrates that you are well aware of parental worries and are not dismissing them out of hand. As a school, you want to be firm in what your ethos is and that you strongly hope parents will trust your judgement, and that you are giving them reasons to trust you.

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