The Open University Sexuality Alliance

Developing sexuality guidance and standards for professionals who support people with life-limiting conditions

It would be helpful to capture some sexual health things within standards learning like disability, including body image, connections and sexual beings within primary and secondary education.

People with life-limiting conditions are living longer than ever before. The Open University Sexuality Alliance is working to ensure that people with life-limiting conditions are able to live fuller lives.

For the first time, Sexuality Guidance and Standards have been developed by The Open University’s Sexuality Alliance to assist staff who support people with life-limiting conditions. The Sexuality Alliance is a partnership including Together for Short Lives, the UK charity for children and young adults with life-limiting, life threatening conditions (LLTCs), other nationally renowned charities, service users, lawyers, academics and public sector organisations in the UK.

The Open University produced a video in early 2015 in collaboration with Together for Short Lives and Rainbows Hospice for children and young people to explore why sexuality standards and guidance for staff, young adults with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions and their families were required. The first phase of this work in 2015 was to produce the video below. The guidance document Talking about Sex, Sexuality and Relationships: Guidance and Standards for those working with young people with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions was launched in London on December 1st 2015 in print and online and a second edition was published in July 2016. Although no major changes have been made to the guidance, some additional legal references and information were added to the second edition which is available both online (Guidance and Standards second edition (pdf)) and in print (see below). There is also a separate, two page extract (pdf) outlining the Principles, Guidance and Standards.

To request a print copy of either the guidance or extract, please email 

Contact us

If you would like to know more about the work of The Open University Sexuality Alliance or would like to get involved please contact:

Dr Sarah Earle
School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes


Telephone: 01908 654260

Sexuality Alliance Young Adults Blog