The Isle of Man Government has confirmed that relationship and sex education (RSE) lessons will resume in primary and secondary schools after the Easter holidays.

RSE lessons were ‘paused ‘in February 2023 by the Department of Education, Sport and Culture after concerns were raised about the advised curriculum and how it was being delivered within secondary schools.

The concerns primarily came from parents and caregivers of children aged between 11 to 13 at Queen Elizabeth II High School (QEII) in Peel who launched a petition calling for the suspension of the curriculum.

However, a report later found that the RSE curriculum taught at QEII was appropriate and lessons should resume, but with improved parental communication and greater specialisation and training for teachers prior to its reintroduction.

Now returning, the government says schools will prioritise specific year groups with a phased approach to the reintroduction and delivery of a full curriculum from September 2024.

Lessons will be based on Scotland’s Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood (RSHP) programme but the Department for Education, Sport and Culture say that changes have been made to the way resources are shared with parents and how teachers are trained in a bid to address the ‘key findings’ of last year’s independent report.

Resources will be available on a new website prior to the delivery within schools, so that parents and carers can access more details about the content and themes being taught ahead of their child’s lessons.

A group of staff will also receive specialist training to deliver specific areas of content.

Daphne Caine, Minister for Education, Sport and Culture, said: ‘I am pleased to see the return of this important subject, which gives children a safe space to ask questions and learn how to make their own informed choices to enjoy safe, healthy relationships throughout their lives.

‘The new website will bring transparency and additional training means we will have a specialist group of staff that are better equipped to deliver developmentally appropriate lessons.’

The curriculum aims to help students learn about the emotional, social and physical aspects of human development, relationships, sexuality, consent, wellbeing and sexual health.