Published: 30th November 2023

BBFC unveils important new resource for Relationships, Sex, and Health Education (RSHE) curriculum

  • Developed in collaboration with Brook, the sexual health and wellbeing charity.
  • Age-appropriate lesson pack for Key Stage 4 (KS4) Year 11 learners in the UK.
  • Encourages young people to think critically about pornography, sex and relationships.
  • Features thought-provoking clips from popular films and TV shows, including Booksmart (15), Chewing Gum (15), Ackley Bridge (12), among others.
  • “What You Need To Know” guide to support engagement with parents and caregivers.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has today announced the launch of a set of teaching and learning materials for KS4 educators, which aligns closely with the UK Government’s mandatory RSHE curriculum framework. This brand new resource is available to download for free on the website.

Drawing on the BBFC’s unrivalled expertise in pornography regulation, combined with Brook’s extensive experience in offering wellbeing and sexual health support to young people, the resource comprises structured lesson plans, engaging activities, and media clips. The inclusion of video content is to ensure the resource remains as relevant as possible for its intended audience of Year 11 students, whilst also serving as helpful springboards for promoting discussion in the classroom. 

Each module is carefully mapped out, providing clear objectives and learning outcomes, which focus on the following lesson titles: “Pornography and the Law” and “Pornography, Pressures and Expectations.” Key topic areas include the exposure of young people to online pornography and the potential impact on their attitudes to sex, as well as the production and sharing of youth-produced sexual imagery. These topics are further supported by activities such as a quiz about the regulation of pornography and a values continuum plan. The resource also offers a digital, on-demand webinar to equip secondary teachers with the tools they need for effective lesson planning and delivery.

RSHE classes are a unique opportunity to empower young individuals to navigate intimate relationships safely and healthily. This innovative resource incorporates six clips from well-known films and TV shows, including: Booksmart (15), Chewing Gum (15), Ackley Bridge (12), among others. The segments address complex issues in an accessible and age-appropriate way, enhancing young people’s understanding of the facts surrounding pornography, and its potential impact on their real-life expectations. 

Today’s launch follows the UK Government’s recent call for teachers to communicate openly about sex education classes with parents and caregivers. To coincide with this, the BBFC has produced a “What You Need To Know” guide that contains all of the essential information about this new resource. The visual infographic was created to further aid parents and educators in facilitating these all-important conversations. 

Natasha Kaplinsky OBE, President of the BBFC, said: “Talking to young people about online pornography can be difficult. Pending the implementation of the new Online Safety Act, pornography remains just one click away - so it’s a topic that needs to be addressed. Parents and educators tell us that film and TV content can act as a useful conversation starter, and this comprehensive resource is specifically tailored to get Year 11 learners thinking critically about the potential impacts of pornography on their lives. On a personal level, I feel passionately that online safety should be taught throughout a young person’s education, in line with the Government’s statutory guidance. It goes without saying that RSHE lessons should not be taught in isolation, but always form part of a well-prepared curriculum at each Key Stage.” 

Rebecca Shutt, Head of Education at Brook, said: “Pornography is now more accessible than ever, with research showing that the majority of young people have encountered it online by the age of 15. In this context where pornography is so readily available, RSHE has a vital role to play in ensuring young people can develop healthy relationships. As well as learning about the law and how to stay safe, young people also need the critical thinking skills to question what they encounter online and understand that what they see in pornography isn’t always true-to-life.

“We know that this can be a challenging topic to teach, and that’s why we’ve partnered with the BBFC to provide schools with these resources. Using TV and film is an excellent way to engage pupils, and we hope that these lessons help teachers to further young people’s understanding of happy, consenting relationships.”

Lynn Perry MBE, Chief Executive of Barnardo's, said: “At Barnardo's we see the harm that pornography can cause children – distorting their views and attitudes towards healthy relationships, sex and consent. Whilst we are pleased that the Online Safety Act will in time help protect children from harmful content, a generation of children have already been exposed to it. Inclusive, age-appropriate relationship and sex education plays a critically important role in helping children to navigate and understand issues around online pornography. So we welcome the BBFC’s new resource focused on pornography. The resource allows schools to support children in discussing concerns and feelings they may have about pornography in a safe environment. It will also explore key issues, including the introduction of age verification, which Barnardo's has been at the forefront of calling for."

This announcement forms part of the BBFC’s year-round outreach programme where we engage with schools and young people up and down the country. The Education team provides a wealth of teacher and parent-focused materials, including free classroom handouts and posters, as well as a suite of free downloadable resources. We also offer a curated series of virtual seminars to give young people additional insight into our age ratings and content advice. Please visit for further information.

For more information, please get in touch with Izzy Baker or Tasha Bourke on +447946 423719 or Further information and press assets can also be found on the Media Centre.

The BBFC is independent and not-for-profit, and here to help everyone in the UK – especially children and families – choose age-appropriate films, videos and websites, wherever and however they watch or use them. Now, as well as classifying films released in UK cinemas and on DVD and Blu-ray, it’s providing age-ratings for Video On Demand and music videos online, and helping Mobile Network Operators set parental controls at the right level. Find out more at or download our app from the App Store or Google Play.

The BBFC is a recognised expert in pornography and its impact on young people, with statutory responsibility for the regulation of pornographic content released on physical media formats in the UK. The release of this resource follows the previous research from the BBFC into sexual and pornographic content - see here.

Brook is a national charity supporting people with their sexual health and wellbeing. We offer a range of services to support our mission of helping people to live healthier lives.  Brook fights for everyone’s right to safe, confidential, accessible healthcare, no matter who they are. We challenge stigma, amplify voices and provide lifelong support that meets the diverse needs of our communities. 

Our unique offer combines clinical services, relationships and sex education, outreach in community settings, wellbeing programmes and counselling. Our life-course approach to sexual health and wellbeing means that people can benefit from our holistic services at any stage of their life. Find out more at