Sex and Relationships Education in Wales: Mapping teacher-pupil perspectives in a changing policy context

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: Sch of Social Sciences


The principal aim of the PhD project is to map transitions in Welsh Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) policy and practice, through investigating teacher and pupil perspectives across the new Welsh curriculum Pioneer Schools from 2019 onwards. By employing a mixed methods approach, involving a survey of teachers and pupils and interviews and ethnographic approaches involving the same groups, the research will shed light on the delivery of SRE and how it is engaged with by young people and those tasked with realising the programme.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P00069X/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2107042 Studentship ES/P00069X/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2022 Max Richard Ashton
Description NB: The impacts described herein are also discussed in other areas of this Researchfish submission. Some of my early research findings have been utilised in the development of the CRUSH resource (Renold, McGeeney and Ashton 2020), a freely accessible online resource which details the ongoing process of transforming relationships and sexuality education (RSE) in Wales with a view to providing examples and support for Welsh schoolteachers and young people engaged in updating and improving their schools' RSE curricula ahead of the implementation of Wales' new national statutory RSE curriculum, which is currently planned for 2022. My early research findings have also been used to inform my response to Welsh Government's (2020) call for evidence in support of the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill. My early findings were used to critically support the Bill's intention to establish a statutory 'code' for Welsh RSE, and its acknowledgement that professional learning would be required to ensure teachers are well-positioned to embed RSE within their teaching.
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Education
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

Description Citation in Welsh Parliament Committee Report
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact The evidence I gave to the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill consultation was examined alongside evidence provided by a wide range of other stakeholders including academics, teachers, relationships and sexuality education (RSE) professionals and parents. My response was cited twice and quoted once in Welsh Parliament's (2020) Stage 1 Committee Report on the Bill (p.147 - see URL) in support of the case for mandatory RSE provision in Wales, and in the case for clearer and more comprehensive professional learning in RSE for Welsh teachers involved in its provision. This Stage 1 report was later responded to by Welsh Government (Williams 2020) who accepted recommendations from the Committee that "Welsh Government work with the [Wales] RSE Working Group to provide, in readiness for the Bill's implementation, a framework outlining the core professional learning, resources and specialist support likely to be needed to deliver developmentally appropriate teaching of RSE from ages 3-16 under the new curriculum" (p.8). References: Welsh Parliament Children, Young People and Education Committee. 2020. Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill Committee Stage 1 Report. Welsh Parliament: Cardiff Bay. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 28/01/21]. Williams, K. 2020. Response to Children, Young People and Education Committee Stage 1 Report Conclusions and Recommendations. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 28/01/21].
Description Submitted evidence to Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
Impact I responded to a call for evidence from Welsh Government regarding the forthcoming Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill using data from my early doctoral research findings. My response was later cited in Welsh Parliament's Committee Stage 1 report (see accompanying I.P.P.P.P record 'Citation in Welsh Parliament Committee Report').