Sex and gender are delicate and nuanced issues for all of us and can be intimidating topics to teach. This practical, empathetic book aims to dispel some of the uncertainties that many teachers have and empower them to lead inclusive, age-appropriate lessons in primary and secondary schools.

Taking an approach that celebrates the individual identity of all learners, and underpinned by an awareness of the complexity of language around these topics, this book offers a careful evaluation of the 2020 Relationship and Sex Education policy for schools in England, and how schools can offer intelligent, socially responsible, sex education that goes beyond simply meeting statutory requirements.


There has never been a more important time to help teachers explore the complexities of teaching sex and relationship education that truly represents the diverse nature of the families and society which young people inhabit. This book will be an invaluable aid to teachers in confidently having sensitive conversations about gender and sexual diversity.

Dominic Davies (Founder and CEO of Pink Therapy)

Informative, helpful and packed with practical advice for all Key Stages this is a timely and important book.

Professor Dame Alison Peacock, DBE, DL, DLitt (Chief Executive, Chartered College of Teaching)

This is an important book in the too-often overlooked field of gender and sexuality education for young people. If appropriately applied, it should lead to a quiet revolution in the physical and mental health of young people who have so unreasonably been disenfranchised by the lack of quality, accessible information in this vital area.

Prof. Christina Richards, MSc DCPsych CPsychol EuroPsy FBPsS (HCPC Registered Applied Psychologist, Lead Consultant Psychologist & Head of Research, Chair BPS Division of Counselling Psychology, Visiting Professor Regent’s University London)

At what age should sexual education start?

It is never ‘too young’ to be learning about relationships and sex as we are born as functioning, thinking beings who express choices, desires, and needs. In these times when sex and new forms of media are going hand-in-hand, children will benefit from getting correct and nuanced information about sex. Since sex is omnipresent, sexual education is more important than ever.

Well-informed children have sexual adventures at a later stage and will enjoy these more than children who have been poorly informed. Parents and educators should break through the taboos and throw away their sense of shame about sex. Now is the time to start sexual education in another way. Sex is knocking on every digital door and it is important that children are educated in such a way that they will know when to open that door or not.

Lessons in Love & Understanding will be an excellent guide in these matters.

Goedele Liekens, Clinical Psychologist and Sexologist, UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador, TV presenter Sex in Class (Channel 4) and best-selling author.