Relationships & Sex Education Survey 2022

Closed 12 Oct 2022

Opened 13 Jun 2022

Feedback updated 9 Jun 2023

We asked

The purpose of this survey, led by Essex Youth Service and Essex Public Health, was to gather the views of young people on a range of topics relating to relationships and sexual health, understanding what further information and support they would like and their preferred ways in which to access it. 

Following on from our first Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) survey in 2021 gathering the views of 16-25 year olds, this year we continued our work with young people to co-design survey questions for 11-25 year olds. Age appropriate questions were developed for young people in Years 7-9, young people in Years 10-11 and young people aged 17-25.  

You said

3,676 young people responded to the survey.

Headline findings:

  • Young people in Years 7-9 and Years 10-11 look to friends/family and school for information on most RSE related topics. For young people aged 17-25, a slightly higher proportion tended to look online for information or access services.
  • Young people in Years 7-9 and Years 10-11 would most like to know more about healthy and respectful relationships and consent and the law. For young people aged 17-25, they would most like to know more about steps to take after unprotected sex, and information on choices around pregnancy.

  • Around 60% of those in Years 7-9 are aware of the Essex Sexual Health Service and Essex Youth Services website, compared to just under 50% of those in Years 10-11 and those aged 17-25. This response may be skewed by significantly larger proportions of Years 7-9 completing the survey in areas where schools are more proactively promoting these services.

  • A significant proportion of young people had felt intimidated, worried or uncomfortable while on the internet, and this increases with each age group. Younger age groups were more likely to have told someone if they felt this way, and also more likely to know where to go for help, with most saying they would turn to friends/family/someone they trust.

  • Condoms are the contraceptive method which young people are most aware of how to access, with Intrauterine System (IUS) and Coil or Intrauterine Device (IUD) being the least known methods.

  • The pharmacy is where young people felt most comfortable accessing contraception, followed by shops/ supermarket. Young people felt least comfortable accessing contraception from a youth centre or School Nurse.

  • Most 17-25 year olds (64%) said they felt fairly or very confident in how to access emergency contraception, compared to 44% of those in Years 10-11.

Reports available below:

Please note district level reports have been produced only for those districts where response rates were higher, and any district level differences should be viewed as indicative only.

We did

We have produced 'we asked, you said, we did' one page summaries for each age group, outlining how insights have been used:


This survey is for young people in Essex age 11yrs (academic Year 7) – 25yrs.

Welcome to our Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) Survey for young people in Essex. The purpose of this survey is to engage with young people in Essex to help us understand how we can ensure that they are supported to have healthy relationships.

Following on from our first RSE survey which ran last summer, gathering the views of 16-25year olds, this year we have continued our work with young people and developed survey questions for the following groups;

  • School Years 7,8 & 9 (Age 11-14 years)
  • School Years 10 & 11 (Age 15-16 years)
  • Young people aged 17-25 years 

There is no need to be embarrassed, this survey is completely anonymous and confidential – this means you can’t be identified from your response, and your answers will be kept safe and secure.

Your responses will be used to help shape and improve young people’s sexual health services within Essex. Please take the time to answer honestly.

As you may be aware Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) is now part of a mandatory curriculum to be taught in schools.

We would like to get your views and understanding of young people’s sexual health needs within Essex, what further information you would like regarding sexual health, and where you like to get this information. 

Essex County Council fully complies with information legislation. If you would like the full details of how we use personal data, and the rights you have about its use, please go to or call 03457 430430.


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