About Speakeasy

Backed up by the extensive training resources and training expertise of FPA, the Speakeasy course offers a flexible and relaxed way for parents and carers to gain greater confidence in an area that can cause embarrassment and awkwardness.

Parents are taught in small groups using creative methods such as collage and artwork, role play and games. More traditional written work is set for parents who wish to gain Gateway Qualifications accreditation.

The emphasis is on making the courses as accessible as possible for those who will benefit.

Course venues are chosen to maximise accessibility and provide the right environment for parents to feel comfortable. Course timings are decided according to local need. Creche facilities are considered, but it will not always be possible to offer them.

A Speakeasy programme usually lasts for eight weeks. A taster session is sometimes held to help parents understand what will be involved. Course structure may vary in detail and timing according to the needs of the parents. Tasks may be set after each of the sessions. The additional time spent researching and compiling portfolios counts towards the required time for Gateway Qualifications accreditation.

Aims of Speakeasy

The main aim of the course is to encourage parents and carers to:

  • provide positive sex and relationships education in the home
  • take on the role of 'sex and relationships educator'.


The Speakeasy course is registered for accreditation with Gateway Qualifications (formerly Open College Network Eastern Region). For those who wish, the course and the resulting portfolio-based work can be used to gain credits that can offer a pathway for entry into further education or employment.

The Speakeasy course for parents is rated at 3 credits at either Gateway Qualifications Level 1 or 2. This is roughly equivalent to 30 hours' learning.

Typical course outline

The courses have specific learning outcomes, but the structure and content of the course are needs-led in order to satisfy the particular requirements of each group.

The participative and experiential style of learning is vital for a community-based programme as it gives ownership to the work.

A typical course will cover the following areas.

Week 1

  • Introductions, ground rules, fears, hopes and expectations.
  • Understand the physical and emotional changes boys and girls undergo at puberty.

Week 2

  • Understand what sex education means in the context of family life.

Week 3

  • Understand how to respond to the needs of children in relation to sex and relationships education in the context of family life.
  • Learning opportunities and useful resources.

Week 4

  • Understand social and cultural attitudes towards sex and sexuality as they relate to children.
  • Stereotypes found in the media.
  • Outside pressures upon young people.

Week 5

  • Understand the different methods of contraception that are available.

Week 6

  • Understand different sexually transmitted infections and methods for safer sex.

Week 7

  • Understand strategies for keeping children safe from harm.

Week 8

  • Understand sex and relationships education in schools, taking account of statutory and non-statutory guidance in education.


By the end of the course participants will have:

  • an understanding of the physical and emotional changes taking place at puberty
  • awareness of what sex and relationships education means in the context of family life
  • confidence and skills in identifying and responding to the needs of their own children
  • explored societal and cultural attitudes towards sex and sexuality as it relates to children
  • knowledge of the different kinds of contraception that are available
  • gained information on sex and relationships education in schools
  • gained information and knowledge on child protection strategies.

Facilitator training for staff in voluntary and community sectors

Find out more about Speakeasy facilitator training course we offer for staff in voluntary and community sectors.

Who to contact

For more information about Speakeasy, contact:

Claire Lightley, Head of Training
Tel: 020 7608 5277
Email: speakeasy@fpa.org.uk