Kate E Reynolds
Journal of Health Visiting, Vol. 7, Iss. 2, 20 Feb 2019, pp 78 - 84

Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) comprise about 14.6 % of pupils in England. Research shows that aspects of relationships and sexuality education (RSE), both formally and informally, have tended to be low priority for professionals and parents of these children. Proposed government changes to RSE policies in all schools in England will take effect from September 2020. Studies identify RSE as having a potential role in reducing sexual abuse and tackling structural inequalities, which children with SEND experience. Health visitors are in a key position to identify potential barriers to RSE learning in the home, strategies to overcome these and possible referrals for professional support. This article focuses on the current research into some of the issues for parents of children with SEND, the challenges for such children and how health visitors can enable parents to teach informal RSE to their children.

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