PSHE education, pupil wellbeing and safety at school

A short evidence briefing on pupils who report receiving good PSHE provision and their wellbeing in school.


This evidence shows that pupils who are positive about the PSHE lessons they receive at school are more likely to have positive relationships at school, as well as a strong feeling of belonging at school.

The findings are based on analysis conducted by the University of Hertfordshire and the PSHE Association, using data from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) research study which surveyed 5,335 English school children aged 11, 13 and 15 in 2014.

The analysis suggests that pupils who report that topics relating to personal safety, health and wellbeing, and sex and relationships were covered well in their PSHE education were also less likely to have been bullied or to have bullied others, and more likely to have positive relationships with other pupils and feelings of belonging. 

While these associations alone do not prove causation, we believe they add to the compelling case for schools to focus on PSHE education in the context of wider evidence of positive outcomes from school-based programmes, in areas ranging from healthy eating to social and emotional skills. Much of this evidence is outlined in the Department for Education PSHE evidence review.


PSHE education, pupil wellbeing and safety at school evidence briefing