Handling complex issues and creating a safe learning environment

Guidance and top tips on ground rules, distancing and more

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How to create a safe PSHE education classroom. 

PSHE education covers many complex or sensitive issues, and any area of the subject has potential to be sensitive for some pupils. That's why it's so important to create and maintain a safe learning environment for all lessons.

Children and young people will also — understandably — want to discuss high profile media coverage of abuse, harassment and other sensitive issues. So it’s vital that they do so in a climate of trust, cooperation and support.

A safe learning environment helps students share feelings, explore values and attitudes, express opinions and consider those of others without attracting negative feedback. As well as encouraging more open discussion, it also helps to make sure that teachers are not anxious about unexpected disclosures or comments.

Our short guidance document outlines top tips for:

  • Establishing a safe learning environment
  • Implementing ground rules
  • Finding pupils' starting points
  • Using distancing techniques


Handling complex issues safely in the PSHE classroom