We recently launched new ‘Health Education: food choices, physical activity & balanced lifestyles lesson plans and guidance’ for KS1-4.

The lessons — available exclusively to members of the association — cover all aspects of healthy food choices and physical activity included in the PSHE Education Programme of Study and the Department for Education’s statutory RSHE guidance.

Welcome back— we hope you had a restful break. We’re really looking forward to supporting you this term and beyond with resources, CPD and a new, improved website experience (more on this later!). See below for highlights and keep an eye out for plenty more Quality Assured resources landing this term.

All schools must meet new statutory Relationships Education/Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (RSHE) curriculum requirements. This implementation guidance will give them the support they need to do so by focussing on three key steps:

Safe home learning lesson checklist

PSHE education — including some statutory RSHE content — should play a key role while pupils are being taught remotely. However, it is crucial to choose materials wisely and consider topics carefully.

There are more opportunities than ever before for young people with special educational needs and disabilities to lead creative and fulfilling lives. Learning experiences that support personal and social development will greatly support their capability to make the most of these opportunities. PSHE (personal, social, health and economic) education is therefore vital, as it is the school curriculum subject dedicated to preparing pupils for life and the fulfilment of their potential.

Welcome back to all colleagues around the country and overseas — we hope you had a good summer break and are ready for the school year ahead.

This is not, of course, the ideal start for schools, or pupils, and we know you and colleagues will be under immense pressure to ensure safety and smooth running this term, and that it won’t be easy.

We are excited to announce that we will be launching our brand-new suite of drug and alcohol education lessons for key stages 1-4 in September. Developed for Public Health England, this resource pack will include several lesson plans and resources for each key stage, as well as a comprehensive teacher guidance document, including knowledge organisers and a briefing paper on the evidence base underpinning effective drug and alcohol education.

The NAHT union has published new guidance for schools on supporting children and young people with their mental health and well-being in light of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The guidance outlines universal approaches for all pupils and targeted interventions for requiring additional support.

The Department for Education issued an update (see document below) and asked us to share it with our network.

We'll be uploading new session dates and recordings soon so watch this space.

We expect that these sessions will be popular and we will need to limit the number of delegates to 20. We will mainly allocate places on a first-come basis, though also take into account geographic spread and range of school types. Don’t worry if you miss out first time around; we will be running sessions weekly, and will be back in touch with those who register their interest.

Book on our latest CPD and annual conferences

We have a full suite of CPD days on planning and leading PSHE, and courses covering individual aspects including RSE and Health Education. Here are some highlights from the coming weeks:

Welcome back! We hope you had a restful summer. There are now only 12 months left until the introduction of statutory Health Education, Relationships Education and RSE – so we’ll be working very hard to support you with these and other aspects of PSHE education during the year ahead. We have exciting plans, so watch out for new resources, courses and other areas of support. In the meantime, here's a reminder of our latest training and resources.


Our latest CPD training – get ready for statutory changes, Ofsted and more 

We have just published guides for primary and secondary colleagues to support parental engagement when it comes to Relationships Education and RSE. These guides provide schools with practical advice — including a template letter and parent workshop plan — on how to positively communicate with parents about the changes, as well as an overview of requirements regarding withdrawal of pupils from sex education.

The PSHE Association has been working with the Home Office and our members to create new and improved #knifefree PSHE education lesson plans ahead of the summer holidays. We published original #knifefree resources last year, and they have proved very popular with our network with over 14,000 downloads to date.

This latest version of the resource pack includes real life case studies of young people from the latest Home Office #knifefree campaign along with new content on the importance of having good role models, including:

With funding provided by the Home Office as part of its ‘Building a Stronger Britain Together’   programme and awarded by the London Community Foundation programme, we’re delighted to offer a series of free CPD training days for both primary and secondary PSHE leads — helping you to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding to plan and teach this challenging aspect of PSHE education.

A motion to approve the Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education regulations and guidance was passed in the House of Lords last night (24th April). This was the final hurdle to getting this legislation through Parliament — so it’s time to celebrate the guarantee that these aspects of PSHE education will be compulsory from 2020.

1. What are the new requirements?

  • The Health Education and Relationships Education (primary) and the secondary Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) aspects of PSHE education will be compulsory in all schools from 2020.
  • PSHE education is already compulsory in independent schools so Health Education won’t be a ‘new’ requirement for them, though independents will be expected to draw on the statutory guidance for Health Education when planning their PSHE education.

You may have heard about the so called "Momo challenge"? Or if not then your pupils almost certainly will. The rumours suggest that messages with dangerous ‘challenges’ are circulating through WhatsApp relating to self-harm. While it’s a relief that the challenge is in fact a hoax that’s gone viral, the idea of this alone is likely to cause children distress — not helped by amplification in the media.

  • From 2020, all schools must provide PSHE education that covers health and relationships/RSE  
  • The PSHE Association welcomes publication of new government guidance to help schools deliver this core PSHE content and raise standards
  • The Association calls curriculum changes a ‘huge boost’ for children, young people and its national membership of PSHE teachers
  • Economic wellbeing and careers education remain vital aspects of PSHE, though not yet compulsory

The PSHE Association and Sex Education Forum have launched a joint roadmap to statutory relationships and sex education (RSE). From September 2020 all secondary schools will be required to deliver RSE, and all primary schools will be required to deliver ‘relationships education’. The government have also committed to statutory health education, meaning the majority of personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education will be compulsory from 2020.

Firstly, a reminder of some very good news: from 2020 every pupil in England will be guaranteed a PSHE education that covers health education and relationships education (in all primary schools) / relationships and sex education (in all secondary schools). These are major steps from Damian Hinds et al at the DfE towards what parents, pupils and educators are crying out for — an education that fully prepares every child for life’s challenges and opportunities.

The consultation on draft statutory health education, RSE and relationships education guidance closes on Wednesday (7th). Your experience in the area will be invaluable so we would encourage you to submit a response.Please read our recent blog post summarising what we like about the guidance and what we think needs improvement but do use your own words when responding.

The online world has many implications for our young people — for their health, identity, lifestyle, and relationships. This is therefore an area of paramount importance for those of us working in PSHE education, as online life is integral to all three core themes (Health, Relationships, Living in the Wider World) of our Programme of Study.

On 19 July the Government committed to making health and relationships aspects of PSHE compulsory from September 2020. A DCMS Committee report highlights the role of PSHE education in promoting digital literacy and Ofsted mentions the role of PSHE in fighting childhood obesity. Finally, a number of written Parliamentary questions were answered.

Government commits to making health and relationships aspects of PSHE compulsory, and publishes draft guidance for consultation

  • PSHE Association welcomes new government commitment to mandatory health education in addition to existing commitments to mandatory relationships and sex education.
  • This makes the majority of PSHE education mandatory for all pupils, in all schools from 2020
  • The move represents a major step towards addressing concerns about consistency of quality and reduced curriculum time for PSHE, despite its proven benefits

The APPG on fit and healthy childhood recommended PSHE to support mental health in childhood and the British Psychological Society referred to PSHE in its response to the childhood obesity strategy. Further recommendations for PSHE lessons were made in a report on preventing and tackling bullying and in a Science and Technology Committee evidence session. Finally, Ministers answered some written and oral questions.

APPG on fit and healthy childhood recommended PSHE to support mental health in childhood and the British Psychological Society referred to PSHE in its response to the childhood obesity strategy. Further recommendations for PSHE lessons were made in a report on preventing and tackling bullying and in a Science and Technology Committee evidence session. Finally, Ministers answered some written and oral questions.

PSHE Association CEO Jono Baggaley argued that compulsory PSHE is in line with the current public mood. The RCPCH called for a ban on junk food adverts and for PSHE lessons to instil healthy behaviours in children, whilst PSHE was also called for in a debate on upskirting. Finally, a number of written and oral questions were answered.

NAHT and NEU referred to the need for statutory PSHE in their responses to the government’s updated statutory safeguarding guidance, and speakers in an evidence session on social media and mental health also agreed that PSHE should be mandatory in schools. There was also support for PSHE in a commons debate from Huw Merriman MP and a range of parliamentary questions were answered by Nick Gibb and Lord Agnew of Oulton.

This week the Education and Health Select Committees reiterated their call for statutory PSHE in their response to the government mental health Green Paper. The response was later debated in the House of Commons. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney wrote a piece for TES on the importance of economic wellbeing education and various written questions were answered.

Education and Health Committees reiterate call for statutory PSHE

Today’s joint report from the cross-party Education and Health and Social Care Committees on the government mental health Green Paper stresses the need for compulsory personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education in all schools. Both Committees have recommended compulsory PSHE education in recent years and this report reiterates their call for the Department for Education to take this measure, on this occasion in relation to children’s mental health and contributory factors such as social media use.

This week the British Safety Council launched a new report on the future of work and the Equality and Human Rights Commission published the response they submitted to the PSHE and RSE call for evidence. Schools Minister Nick Gibb also answered various written and oral questions from Members of Parliament.

Today’s children and young people must be supported to stay safe and aware online from an early age. The PSHE curriculum is unique in its potential to address online safety and a range of related issues (from safe online relationships to mental health, media literacy to online gambling) in a planned, holistic way. We wanted to highlight some of the latest guidance and training available to you in this area:
New UKCCISS framework

The DfE call for evidence on PSHE and RSE closed on 12 February and there was a lot of activity leading up to this deadline. This included a 6 February Parliamentary debate on PSHE which showed support from across parties for improving the status of the subject and a joint Times letter from 20 leading organisations and individuals calling on the government to grant statutory status to PSHE in its entirety. 

The PSHE Association has today published a shared briefing from a coalition of national organisations dedicated to supporting children and young people’s safety, health, employability and readiness for modern life. This briefing outlines our shared vision for a Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education that benefits all. This comes at a crunch time for PSHE, with the government considering its status on the school curriculum and ways to raise standards.

This week Damian Hinds was appointed as the new Secretary of State for Education. News Wise, a news literacy programme for primary school children was announced and the Children’s Commissioner for England called on schools to prepare pupils for the pressures of social media. Furthermore, Lord Agnew of Oulton answered a written parliamentary question whilst minister for Women and Equalities Amber Rudd gave oral evidence.

The PSHE Association is delighted to be working with the National Literacy Trust and the Guardian Foundation on the News Wise news literacy programme announced today. This pilot scheme – aimed at years 5 and 6 – aims to enable children to access, navigate, critically analyse and participate in the news through a suite of lesson plans, online resources and school workshops.

The PSHE Association welcomes Damian Hinds to his new role as Education Secretary, and calls for a continuation of progress made under Justine Greening towards statutory PSHE education that includes, but isn’t limited to, relationships and sex education (RSE).  Mr Hinds has previously been a member of the Education Select Committee and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility.

The PSHE Association seeks new trustees to join our Board

Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education is a school subject which develops the knowledge, skills and attributes children and young people need to be safe, healthy and prepared for life and work.  The subject’s importance is increasingly recognised, as the PSHE curriculum covers the most pressing issues facing young people today including sex and relationships, mental health, staying safe from online dangers, challenging extremism and radicalisation and preparing for a volatile jobs market.

This week the Department for Education launched a call for evidence on PSHE and RSE. Moreover, a new evidence review concluded that PSHE education supports academic success, the Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision Green Paper was launched and the Government also presented its new Careers Strategy. The Centre for Mental Health published an evaluation of Project Future. Moreover, the DfE launched advice for schools on dealing with sexual violence and harassment between children and Justine Greening presented the Government’s new social mobility strategy.

    • 'Very strong evidence’ that PSHE (personal, social, health and economic) learning has a positive impact on academic attainment, according to independent Pro Bono Economics review.
    • Disadvantaged pupils enjoy greatest benefits to academic performance
    • Through its proven impact on physical and mental health, levels of bullying and general behaviour, PSHE education removes barriers to learning and develops skills that help young people succeed

The Health Select Committee took evidence on mental health services this week, during which the Children’s Commissioner spoke favourably of PSHE. Anti-Bullying Week was debated in the House of Commons, and Ministers answered various written questions from MPs.

The Sex Education Forum celebrated its 30th anniversary and highlighted its 12 principles of effective RSE. The DfE appointed Ian Bauckham CBE as an advisor on how relationships and sex education should be taught in schools and about the role of PSHE education. Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield called for action on making PSHE statutory in its entirety and the UK Youth Parliament again chose a ‘curriculum for life’ as its priority campaign.

This week the NAHT released findings of its survey on PSHE and RSE, showing overwhelming support for statutory PSHE. The topics of sexual harassment and violence in schools were debated in the House of Commons. The NHS published the result of its annual smoking, drinking and drug-use survey and Minister Nick Gibb answered PSHE related written questions.

90% of over 900 professionals surveyed by school leader’s union NAHT said that PSHE education, including relationships and sex education (RSE), should have the same status as other school subjects, and 91% of respondents want the subject to be taught in regular, timetabled lessons. The survey was conducted with a view to establishing how Government proposals could work best for schools and for students. 

This week Julian Knight MP, Chair of the APPG on Financial Education for Young People spoke out in support of statutory PSHE. The Youth Parliament once again chose ‘a curriculum for life’ as one of its potential campaign priorities. The Government released an updated version of its commons library briefing on sexual harassment in schools, and across Europe Restart a Heart Day was marked.

This week the Government published the Internet Safety Strategy green paper, which highlighted the role of PSHE education. The Sutton Trust also highlighted the importance of PSHE in its newly published Life Skills report. In Parliament, ministers were quizzed regarding levels of sexual assault of children by other children. Finally, a survey conducted by Dove suggested that only 39% of girls in the UK have high body esteem.

You’ve probably seen the recent ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ media campaign – regarding what to do in the event of a knife or gun terror attack.

Your school might be tempted to cover this – for example through assemblies or taught lessons – but we strongly advise to wait until KS 3 & 4 lesson plans are published on the topic later this month. Please note that this campaign is aimed at pupils aged 11-16, and we urge against covering it in schools with younger children.

An update of the Millennium Cohort Study published this week showed high levels of depression amongst 14 year olds, especially young girls. A poll commissioned by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families suggested many primary teachers don’t feel adequately trained to support pupils with mental health problems. Mental health was also the focus of parliamentary questions this week, along with questions on relationships education and covering domestic violence on the curriculum.

Jenny Fox is a Subject Specialist here at the PSHE Association and like others on the subject specialist team writes our resources and guidance, designs and runs our CPD training and works with other organisations to quality assure their resources. Jenny had a pivotal role in writing our PSHE Education Planning Toolkit for key stages 3 and 4 and writes here about the processes and challenges involved in this significant task

Public Health England launched its Rise Above for Schools campaign this week, including PSHE resources on a range of topics relating to pupil health, wellbeing and resilience. A new commission has been launched to explore teaching about fake news and critical literacy skills. DfE Minister Nick Gibb highlighted the importance of PSHE to drug awareness and prevention education. It was also the FPA’s Sexual Health Week, with a focus this year on relationships and sex education, and TES and ITV published the results of their joint survey on bullying.

As expected, it has been quieter politically over the summer but there have been a number of PSHE related news stories of relevance in recent weeks.  University of Hertfordshire research linked a low sense of belonging in school with self-harm, and highlighted PSHE education’s potential to help. The NSPCC called for relationships and sex education within a wider PSHE education curriculum to combat sexual misconduct in schools and the NAHT stressed the importance of PSHE to improve the emotional wellbeing of pupils.

The Government’s new Drug Strategy, which recommends increased emphasis on preventative education, was debated in the House of Commons this week.  Parliamentary questions concerned PSHE education’s role in supporting positive body image, healthy relationships and emergency life-saving skills.

This week Public Health England highlighted the critical role PSHE can play in preventing child sexual exploitation. The Government 2017 Drug Strategy also mentioned the importance of PSHE education in preventing drug and alcohol misuse. Finally, a number of PSHE-related written questions were answered by Minister Nick Gibb on discrimination, emergency life-saving skills and relationships education.

This week it has been confirmed that DfE Minister Nick Gibb takes on responsibility for PSHE and RSE. PSHE education was mentioned in a Lords’ debate on financial inclusion and a number of written parliamentary questions were answered on relationships and sex education (RSE).

This week the UK Youth Parliament launched its #PSHE4ME campaign for high quality, statutory PSHE for all. Stonewall called for LGBT inclusive statutory PSHE in its 2017 School Report. NAHT responded to the Education Policy Institute (EPI) report on social media and mental health and wellbeing, by calling for statutory PSHE. Finally, Education Secretary Justine Greening and Minister Nick Gibb answered a number of parliamentary questions on relationships and sex education (RSE).

On Friday 16 June  the PSHE Association and the Sex Education Forum wrote to the Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening, urging her to expedite the process of drafting relationships and sex education (RSE) guidance and consulting on the broader framework for personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education; while expressing our hope that the pause in this process, resulting from the General Election, doesn’t compromise the scope or quality of the consultation process the sector was promised, or the timeframe for implementation in 2019.

The Great Get Together will be taking place across the country this weekend (16th-18th June), and we are encouraging schools to take part with a special school assembly on Friday 16th June.  Inspired by MP Jo Cox, who was tragically murdered last year, The Great Get Together aims to bring together communities, neighbours, pupils and friends to share and celebrate all that we hold in common.

Justine Greening keeps her role as Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities following this week’s post-election reshuffle. Edward Timpson, DfE Minster with responsibility for PSHE, lost his seat at the election, however, so we await news of ministerial responsibilities and possible replacements. Likewise Neil Carmichael, Chair of the Education Select Committee, lost his seat and we await an update on who will replace him on the Committee.

In the past few weeks the upcoming elections have dominated the news. Last week we highlighted guidance on discussing terrorist attacks with pupils following the attack in Manchester. Additionally, sexual health charity the FPA called on the next government to invest in high quality relationships and sex education.

In light of a number of incidents in recent weeks we wanted to highlight guidance to help you respond to your pupils, who may want to discuss what has happened and could be experiencing a wide range of emotions.

Though we advise following a planned programme, in instances like this PSHE or Citizenship lessons can provide the space and opportunity for discussions that provide timely support for pupils at a difficult and sensitive time, in which case we hope the following guidance will help you:


This week the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) published a report on the effects of social media on young people’s mental health in which it recommends statutory PSHE. Our CEO Jonathan Baggaley was interviewed by TES magazine on the importance of PSHE and references were made to relationships and sex education and PSHE by political parties in their election manifestos.

The PSHE Association welcomes today’s #StatusOfMind report from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and Young Health Movement (YHM) on the positive and negative effects of social media on young people’s mental health, which includes statutory personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education amongst its key recommendations.

It was Mental Health Awareness Week this week. To mark the occasion we published a briefing making the case for statutory PSHE to support mental health. We also expressed our support for the Great Get Together, which will be celebrated from the 16th-18th of June.

This week the Health and Education Select Committees issued a joint recommendation call for statutory PSHE in the concluding report of their children and young people’s mental health inquiry. Compulsory PSHE was also recommended in the context of improving financial education and the PSHE Association launched a series of new courses in anticipation of the new statutory requirement to teach relationships and sex education from September 2019.

On Thursday 27 April the Children and Social Work Bill received Royal Assent, becoming the Children and Social Work Act.  The new Act includes legislation that makes relationships and sex education (RSE) statutory in all secondary schools, and ‘relationships education’ in all primary schools. The Act also gives the Government power to make PSHE education statutory in its entirety, pending the results of a consultation.

This week the Children and Social Work Bill received Royal Assent , meaning Government proposals to make relationships  and sex education become law with the potential of similar status for PSHE education in its entirety, pending consultation. The Digital Economy Bill and the Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Ratification of Convention) Act also received assent and various written questions on PSHE and RSE were answered by Edward Timpson and Lord Nash.

Although much attention went to the newly announced June general elections this week, PSHE education and relationships and sex education (RSE) were discussed nonetheless. The NUT made a strong comment in which it called PSHE and SRE an ‘essential part of the curriculum’ that covers a whole range of issues, not just relationships. The results of a poll on hate crime and hate speech by the ATL union showed further support for PSHE and Edward Timpson reiterated the DfE’s commitment to pupil mental health and wellbeing.

PSHE education was discussed in the Lords this week during the Children and Social Work Bill amendments debate and in the context of technical education.

This week, Schools Week published an article on why sex education should be delivered as part of statutory PSHE. PSHE was discussed during the second oral evidence session for the children and young people’s mental health inquiry. Young enterprise highlighted PSHE in response to the House of Lords Select Committee report on Financial Exclusion, and the role PSHE can play in preventing alcohol abuse was discussed in the House of Lords.

Our Chief Executive Jonathan Baggaley writes on PSHE education's key role in supporting financial capability and enterprise skills:

Not many people disagree with the idea that all pupils should leave school with the ability to understand how to navigate major life choices, including those relating to money, but there is perhaps a lack of awareness about the extent to which personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education has the potential to develop financial capability, enterprise and employability skills.

This week the Lords Communication Committee called for statutory PSHE to support online safety and digital literacy. The Home Affairs Committee briefly mentioned PSHE in its oral evidence session on hate crime and violence and the State of the Nation report by the Social Mobility Committee was discussed in the House of Commons and the Association highlighted our briefing on how to discuss a terror incident with pupils. 

In the wake of the terrorist attack in Westminster yesterday, your pupils may want to discuss what has happened and may be experiencing a wide range of emotions. Whilst PSHE education should not be a series of knee-jerk responses to events in school or in the wider world, in instances like this it is likely to be in PSHE or Citizenship lessons where there is the space and opportunity for discussions to take place that provide support for pupils at a difficult and sensitive time. 

The PSHE Association welcomes today’s Lords Communications Committee ‘Growing up with the Internet’ report, which includes mandatory PSHE education in all schools as a key recommendation.

This extensive report highlights risks to children posed by the internet, from easy access to inappropriate content, loss of privacy, commercial exploitation and cyberbullying to susceptibility to fake news and extremist views.

This week PSHE education was discussed during an online abuse debate in the House of Lords, our Chief Executive wrote in Children & Young People Now magazine about the importance of broader PSHE education and the Association issued new guidance for governors about PSHE.

This week the Children and Social Work Bill was discussed in the House of Commons. Plan International published research that young people are far more likely to identify as feminists than their parents. To mark International Women’s Day, Justine Greening and Baroness Shields discussed gender equality.

This week was dominated by the historic announcement by Education Secretary Justine Greening about statutory relationships and sex education from 2019 and opening the door to make PSHE education statutory in its entirety pending an upcoming consultation.

The Education Secretary Justine Greening made an announcement today about intentions to make sex and relationships education (SRE) statutory in an amendment to the Children and Social Work Bill while also paving the way for further action on PSHE education in its entirety.

Our full response to follow and in the meantime you can read Justine Greening's full statement here.

This week we opened bookings for our annual conferences 2017. HIV Awareness in PSHE Lessons was discussed in the House of Commons. The Health Committee published the evidence it received in response to its mental health in schools inquiry. The Scottish Education and Skills Committee published the information it received in its Personal and Social Education inquiry. Finally some written questions were answered by the Government. 

This week a number of MPs and organisations sent an open letter to Justine Greening. The Government released its progress on tackling child sexual exploitation. The Local Government Association expressed concerns about STI’s among 20 to 24-year-olds and linked it to a lack of SRE. The Institute of Development Studies launched a review on sex education in the digital era. Finally, two parliamentary questions were answered.

This week a cross-party amendment on relationships education was tabled to the Children and Social Work Bill, resulting in front page story on the Telegraph on sex and relationships education (SRE). The Government responded to the British Youth Council report on racism and religious discrimination, acknowledging the valuable role PSHE could play in tackling both issues. Finally, two parliamentary questions were answered.

This week in Parliament, Justine Greening made promising statements on the importance of a broad PSHE curriculum and PSHE and SRE were discussed as part of a debate on the Digital Economy Bill in the House of Lords. Barnardo’s released shocking data on growing peer-to-peer sexual abuse.

This week a landmark RCPCH report on child physical and mental health recommended statutory PSHE.  PSHE and sex and relationships education (SRE) were debated in the House of Commons and various members of parliament and peers asked questions about PSHE. The British Humanist Association published a report suggesting a lack of focus on PSHE and SRE during school Ofsted inspections.

The PSHE Association welcomes a landmark report launched today by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) on the state of children and young people’s physical and mental health and its recommendation that PSHE education should be statutory in all schools.

The ‘State of Child Health’ report includes data on 25 measures relating to the health and wellbeing of UK children, from obesity and drug/alcohol use to sexual health and suicide rates.

An adjournment debate called by Conservative MP Maria Miller on sex and relationships education (SRE) took place in Parliament last night. Ms Miller has campaigned on the issue strongly since the Women and Equalities Committee she chairs recommended the need for SRE and personal, social health and economic (PSHE) education to be statutory in its report.

This week Equality and Human Rights Commission chair David Isaac called for sex and relationships education (SRE) in the context of PSHE.,, Caroline Lucas’ PSHE bill was briefly discussed in the House of Commons and the PSHE Association submitted evidence to the Health Committee’s inquiry on the role of education in promoting mental health and emotional wellbeing in children and young people. The Fawcett Society reported high levels of hostility towards woman and consequently called for statutory SRE and the Children’s Society drew a strong link between drug use and sexual exploitation.

This week amendments to the Children and Social Work Bill were debated in parliament. In response to this, the PSHE Association released a joint statement with the NAHT. PSHE was also mentioned several times in other parliamentary discussions and questions. The latest edition of the Prince’s Trust Macquarie Youth Index was launched and Prime Minister Theresa May gave a speech about mental health.

This week the Children’s Commissioner published a report highlighting the urgent need for measures to keep children and young people safe and informed when online. Another review, funded by the NIHR and published in December 2016, concluded that sex and relationships education (SRE) is poorly delivered in many schools.

The PSHE Association welcomes today’s report from the Children’s Commissioner highlighting the urgent need for measures to keep children and young people safe and informed when online.

One of the key recommendations relates to the need for all schools to cover digital citizenship in order to help protect pupils from concerns such as online bullying and grooming, while encouraging them to be critical consumers and creators of information online.

The Times reported that the DfE were working on proposals to strengthen status of sex and relationships education. Justine Greening reiterated importance of addressing quality and accessibility of PSHE in parliamentary questions as DfE Ministers Lord Nash and Edward Timpson referred to PSHE and SRE in responses to written questions. PSHE was also discussed during the second reading of the Digital Economy Bill and in an answers to a parliamentary question on female genital mutilation (FGM) .

The Sunday Times reported this weekend that the Department for Education has drawn up proposals to ensure schools teach sex and relationships education (SRE).

This is the latest in a number of recent encouraging indications that the Government is considering  significant measures in order to improve the status of PSHE education, the subject through which sex and relationships education (SRE) is delivered.

Chief Executive Jonathan Baggaley looks back on a year of growing momentum behind statutory PSHE education and forward to a year that presents an opportunity for meaningful change:

2016 has seen unprecedented recognition of the need for universal, high quality PSHE education. We would like to thank all of the PSHE practitioners, school leaders, parliamentarians, 100+ leading organisations, parents and young people that joined us in making the case so strongly for statutory PSHE this year.

This week, PSHE education and sex and relationships education (SRE) were discussed in the Children and Social Work Bill debate and a debate on violence against women. The NSPCC released survey figures showing a large increase in hospital admissions for children that self-harm and the PSHE Association launched an updated version of our Programme of Study for PSHE Education (key stages 1-5), expanded to cover key stage 5.

We are delighted to launch an updated version of our PSHE Education Programme of Study (key stages 1 -5), which now includes the first ever programme of study for key stage 5. The PSHE Education Programme of Study (key stages 1–5) is the only national, up-to-date programme of study for the subject and is regularly signposted to by the Department for Education for schools to use.

The Government responded to the Women and Equalities Select Committee report on sexual harassment and violence this week. The report recommended statutory status for PSHE education, including sex and relationships education, yet the Government response made no commitment to improving status at this stage.  This prompted a joint letter from five Select Committee urging Education Secretary Justine Greening to take action to make PSHE and SRE statutory and follow-up parliamentary questions.

During this week our Deputy CEO Jenny Barksfield gave oral evidence to the Lords Financial Exclusion Committee on the importance of PSHE education to financial literacy and Education Minister Lord Nash was questioned by his fellow peers about strengthening the status of PSHE in a debate on sex and relationships education. The Association also pledged support for the #iwill social action campaign and a report by Ofsted suggested that schools should be doing more to prepare young people for the world of work.

As the national body for PSHE education we are passionate about preparing children and young people to meet life’s challenges and make the most of life’s opportunities, as well as supporting them to make a positive contribution to society.

This is particularly important in these complex and uncertain times and we believe there is great value in the type of social action and participation the #iwill campaign is looking to ignite.

This was a busy but positive week. A number of reports were released that called for statutory PSHE and the NAHT marked anti-bullying week with a powerful statement in support of the subject. The news that the UK Youth Parliament has elected ‘a curriculum for life’ as its priority campaigning issue for 2017 was significant.

It’s both Anti-Bullying Week and Alcohol Awareness Week and we wanted to draw your attention to some of the quality assured classroom resources we highlight on our website to help you address these important issues.

Our ‘10 Questions About Bullying’ resource can be used to structure discussion in a planned PSHE lesson and the resource comes with both teacher notes and slides to use in class.

The PSHE Association strongly welcomes the decision by the UK Youth Parliament to make a ‘curriculum for life’ – including comprehensive, statutory PSHE education – its main campaign priority in England for the year ahead.

Young Parliamentarians held a robust debate in the Commons on Friday 11th November before voting overwhelmingly to focus on campaigning for an education that provides young people with the skills, knowledge and attributes to make the most of a challenging world.

More young people than ever have voted this year to decide on UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) campaigning priorities and we are delighted that from over 978,000 votes a ‘curriculum for life’  – including comprehensive PSHE education – was the most popular topic. The UKYP will now hold a debate in the House of Commons on Friday 11 November on whether to make this or other popular topics their main campaign priority for the year ahead.

Having just taken over from Joe Hayman as Chief Executive of the PSHE Association, I’d like to introduce myself and highlight some developments this week.

I’m delighted to join the Association at a time of increasing need for high quality PSHE and unprecedented support for it to gain statutory status. During my time as Head of Education at CEOP I saw first-hand the impact of PSHE education on keeping children safe, but more than that, I came to understand the crucial role it can play in improving all children’s lives.

Today, three PSHE campaigners delivered a letter to Downing Street calling on Theresa May to make the subject a statutory part of the curriculum. Lorin LaFave, the founder of the Breck Foundation, Fiona Spargo-Mabbs, the Founder of the DSM Foundation, Sacha Langton-Gilks, the lead campaigner for the Headsmart campaign, came together to bring attention to the need for statutory status.

This week has seen a series of significant developments in the campaign for statutory PSHE. Campaigning activity is continuing today, the last day before Parliament rises for the beginning of party conference season, with three bereaved parents visiting Downing Street to deliver a letter to Theresa May calling for statutory status.

The PSHE Association is recruiting an experienced primary practitioner to join our team of subject specialists, working to support our growing community of members across the country.

This is an opportunity for those with a teaching background (including experience of leading and teaching PSHE education) who have both a commitment to PSHE education and an interest in developing their skills and experience in creating teaching resources and supporting continuing professional development for teachers. We would welcome applications from practising teachers.

The Crown Prosecution Service Report released today has highlighted a significant increase in prosecutions for crimes related to violence against women and girls.

These include an increase in child sexual abuse convictions of almost 17% and over 200 prosecutions for disclosing private sexual images without consent (sometimes referred to as ‘revenge porn’).

Welcome back for the new school year. We really look forward to supporting you during the year ahead and wanted to highlight some of our upcoming resources and training days while updating you on policy developments over the summer.

Our training days this term

The PSHE Association has issued a warning to the Government over serious risks to child safety – as official figures show a significant fall in time allocated to PSHE education on the curriculum, including lessons on how pupils can help to keep themselves and others safe from abuse and online dangers.  

New analysis of Department for Education data showing how secondary schools allocate their curriculum has revealed that the time spent teaching PSHE education has fallen by over 32% in just four years.*

There have been further high profile calls this week for the government to make PSHE education a statutory subject on the school curriculum.

Chair of the Association for Police and Crime Commissioners (APPC), Vera Baird QC, stressed the importance of statutory PSHE in helping children and young people to recognise and stay safe from child sexual abuse. Ms Baird said that making PSHE statutory would be a “key step” and that this move was supported by police and crime commissioners (PCCs) from across the political spectrum.

The PSHE Association is recruiting for an Administrative Assistant who will play a key part in helping us to deliver an excellent service to our members. The post is offered on a full time (35 hours per week) basis at a starting salary of £17,000 to £18,000, on an initial six month contract with the possibility of extension.

The PSHE Association has welcomed a review of careers education, published today by the Education Endowment Foundation. The report finds evidence that careers education can have a range of positive impacts including raised academic attainment, improved economic and employment outcomes, and improved wellbeing and non-cognitive skills, such as self-regulation, and resilience.

Chief Executive Joe Hayman said,

New figures released today by the PSHE Association show the scale of parental concern about sexting amongst children and young people. An online poll of parents by YouGov* for the Association showed that 78% were either fairly or very concerned about sexting, compared to 69% who were concerned about alcohol misuse and 67% who were concerned about smoking. In response, 87% of respondents agreed that schools should do more to educate pupils about the risks involved in sexting.

The PSHE Association has welcomed the publication of the annual CBI-Pearson education and skills survey, which outlines the need for school pupils to develop the skills and attributes we seek to build through PSHE education. Our own surveys of employers have echoed these findings and shown overwhelming support amongst business leaders for statutory status for PSHE education in order to develop those skills.

We are delighted to announce the appointment of our new Chief Executive. Jonathan Baggaley, who is currently Head of Education at the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), will take over from our current CEO, Joe Hayman in mid-September. Jonathan will be joining us in early September, enabling a short handover period before Joe steps down from the role.

Commenting on Jonathan’s appointment, Chair of Trustees Carol Beaumont said:

The PSHE Association today welcomed positive comments from three government ministers (Education Minister Edward Timpson, Minister for Equalities Caroline Dinenage and Home Office Minister Karen Bradley) giving evidence to the Commons Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into sexual harassment and violence in schools.

The PSHE Association has welcomed today’s report into harmful sexual behaviour amongst children. The report comes at the end of an inquiry chaired by Conservative MP Nusrat Ghani and supported by leading children’s charity Barnardo’s, and focuses on efforts to prevent children from being drawn into harmful sexual behaviours and the criminal justice system.

The PSHE Association is delighted to launch the PSHE education character curriculum planning toolkit, which was produced under a Department for Education (DfE) grant.

Developing essential skills and attributes, alongside subject knowledge, is key to effective PSHE education. This planning toolkit will help teachers to plan schemes of work which put those skills and attributes at the forefront of their PSHE programme.

Today, the PSHE Association begins its search for a new Chief Executive to take up the baton from Joe Hayman. After three and a half years in the role, Joe will be leaving the Association later this year to explore new opportunities.

Joe joined the Association in 2012 and has led the organisation to achieve significant growth in its membership, income, size and reach while building unprecedented cross-sector support for raising the status of the subject.

We are pleased to launch a new report in partnership with the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) outlining 11 key principles of effective practice in prevention education. These principles will help PSHE Association members and supporters to teach high-quality online safety education as part of their broader programmes.

The Department for Education today published a white paper which outlines the government’s vision for education over the next five years and includes a headline commitment that all schools will become academies by 2022. This will have a number of significant implications, including that the national curriculum will in future be a “benchmark” rather than a “decree”.

We are delighted to launch our Annual Conference events in London on June 16th and Leeds on June 23rd, with a theme this year which explores what 21st Century PSHE education should look like, how it can support pupils’ safety, wellbeing and success and how it contributes to Ofsted and Independent Schools Inspectorate frameworks.

Sir Michael Wilshaw presented to the House of Commons’ Education Select Committee on the purpose of education, citing the role of PSHE education. The Ofsted Chief stated that good schools teach PSHE education well and that “a good school is not only about promoting the core curriculum. It’s about making sure that youngsters do understand about personal relationships, do understand about sex education, do understand about careers.”

We are delighted to welcome you to the new PSHE Association website, which we hope will make it easier for you to find the support and resources you need to deliver high-quality PSHE education.

In response to feedback from our members, we have overhauled the appearance, navigation and content of the site and members should also notice improvements to how membership applications and event bookings are processed. Please take a moment to look through the site and check out some of the new features, including:

Today’s Leading People report from the Sutton Trust demonstrates that jobs in many of the country’s most prestigious professions are disproportionately filled by people who have attended independent schools. The report attributes this to independent school pupils’ access to a range of opportunities in relation to aspirations, non-cognitive skills extracurricular activities and academic attainment which their counterparts in state schools lack.

The PSHE Association is delighted to welcome four new trustees to our board to support our development over the coming years.  Their mix of business and education expertise, set out in more detail below, will help us to achieve our aim that all school pupils should develop the knowledge, skills and attributes to prepare them for life and work in modern Britain.

The Government has today launched a new resource hub for teachers, school leaders and parents seeking to educate young people about radicalisation and extremism and increase the resilience of vulnerable young people. The site Educate Against Hate is part of a package of measures announced by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan today, and includes resources developed by the NSPCC.

PSHE Association Chief Executive Joe Hayman said:  

The PSHE Association has welcomed David Cameron’s focus on young people in his speech on life chances yesterday, in which the Prime Minister addressed a range of key issues relevant to PSHE education, including improving mental health, building stronger relationships, reducing substance misuse and focussing on financial education, employability, character and resilience in schools.

Responding, Chief Executive Joe Hayman said:

Over the past few months we have been increasingly asked for support with teaching about extremism and radicalisation by a range of schools serving a range of different communities. Teachers in all parts of the country, serving both single-sex and mixed-sex schools and pupils of different ages, are seeking help on these issues, and I hope this blog will provide a few thoughts from a PSHE education perspective which might help.

The chair of the Commons Education Select Committee has written to Nicky Morgan calling on her to “carefully consider” their recommendation to make PSHE education a statutory subject.

A landmark report published by the Children’s Commissioner today suggests that just one in eight victims of sexual abuse come to the attention of the police and children’s services. Evidence examined by the Commissioner also suggests that most victims of sexual abuse do not report it until they have the knowledge to recognise abuse and the words to describe it – often years after the abuse has started.

The PSHE Association has today vowed to step up its campaigning activity in response to reports in yesterday’s Independent which suggested that the Government is considering rejecting statutory status for PSHE Education. Strong recommendations for statutory status were made by the Education Select Committee earlier this year, and statutory status is supported by 90% of parents and 92% of young people as well as over 100 leading bodies.

Sexting is becoming ‘the norm’ for teens warn child protection experts
Kate Burls, education team coordinator at Ceop, a command of the National Crime Agency, said: “Working with young people, we are finding that sexting increasingly feels like a norm in terms of behaviour in their peer group.”

We are pleased to announce the dates for our 2016 Annual Conference, and following feedback from our members, we are again running two events – one in London and one in Leeds. While bookings have not yet opened, we are releasing these dates for your diaries now to help you plan ahead:

Save the date

  • Thursday 16th June – London conference at Holiday Inn Regent’s Park
  • Thursday 23rd June – Leeds conference at the Met Hotel, King Street

What can I expect?

Barnardos have released a report 'Digital Dangers: the impact of technology on the sexual abuse and exploitation of children and young people'. A survey of young people found that almost half (48 per cent) living at home say their parents only know some of what they do online. The report highlights the need for, among other things, “Easier access to existing prevention resources and advice, including age-appropriate healthy relationships and sex education through schools”. Read the news article and report here

As PSHE teachers we seem to have to know ‘something about almost everything’ and cyber safety has been one area I knew I needed to learn a lot more about.  My guess is that colleagues reading this blog will fall between ‘I know all this!’ at one end and ‘I didn’t have a clue this was possible!’ at the other.  So if this blog simply shows how naïve I was I apologise in advance, but I bet I am not alone.

Please note that this news article is archived content from our old website and some internal links may not be working. If you need help finding information please get in touch with us at info@pshe-association.org.uk.

New calls from pupils and parents for statutory PSHE education are included in a report launched today by the PSHE Association which outlines the case for the subject to be a mandatory part of the curriculum.

A new study from the University of Hertfordshire’s Health Behaviours of School-aged Children (HBSC) has found that ‘emotional wellbeing may be decreasing while physical health is improving’. The report which was published on 15th October undertook surveys with 5,335 young people aged 11, 13 and 15 and suggests that improvements in young people’s health behaviours do not extend to their overall life satisfaction, reinforcing concerns about pupil mental and emotional wellbeing.

The University of Hertfordshire’s 2015 Health Behaviours of School-aged Children (HBSC) report has been published today. The researchers undertook surveys with 5,335 young people aged 11, 13, and 15 on their physical and emotional wellbeing with the final report noting that ‘emotional well-being may be decreasing while physical health is improving’.

The PSHE Association has today issued a call-to-action, urging supporters – from young people and parents to teachers and campaigners – to write to the Prime Minister to ask that the government makes PSHE education a statutory subject.

The government has committed to responding by the end of this year to the Commons Education Committee’s recommendation that the subject be made a statutory part of the curriculum, prompting the Association to appeal directly to David Cameron on the matter. 

The Telegraph reports that ‘some of the country's leading child safety experts’ have demanded that PSHE education which teaches children about sexual abuse and relationships becomes mandatory. The Children’s Commissioner for England Anne Longfield, NSPCC CEO Peter Wanless, and Barnardos CEO Javed Khan have called for statutory PSHE to raise awareness of sexual exploitation and abuse a year after more than 1,400 children were sexually exploited by gangs in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.

  • Telegraph reports that a year after Rotherham child sexual exploitation (CSE) inquiry, child safety education lessons remain optional, despite survivors’ ‘scathing’ verdict on the education they receive
  • PM has called CSE ‘a national threat’, but six months after Commons Education Committee recommended all pupils receive lessons on staying safe, government still has not responded
  • Child safety experts NSPCC, Barnardo’s and the Children’s Commissioner urge the government to act to make PSHE statutory

The PSHE Association today expressed its deep disappointment at the delay in the Government response to the Commons Education Committee’s recommendation that PSHE education should be made a statutory subject. In a Command Paper laid before Parliament today, the Department for Education commits to a decision on this issue later in this year.

Today’s research brief from the Sutton Trust and upReach highlights the disparity in income between independent school graduates and their state school counterparts. The report shows that only half of this difference is explained by prior academic achievement, suggesting that personal and social skills such as communication and assertiveness also play a critical role in determining earnings.

In February, the Commons Education Committee recommended that Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education, the subject which teaches pupils to keep healthy and safe and prepares them for life and work, be made a statutory part of the curriculum in English schools. The campaign for statutory status has been going for many years with huge support, so there was much frustration when the Department for Education recently postponed its decision on what to do.

A new survey of young people aged 12 to 15 has found that over 9 in 10 pupils who are taught PSHE education believe that all pupils should receive these lessons. The subject covers topics like mental health, employability skills and healthy relationships but is currently non-statutory, meaning provision is sub-standard in 40% of schools according to Ofsted.

In Parliament today (15 June), Education Secretary Nicky Morgan confirmed that the Government will respond to the Commons Education Committee's recommendations on the status of PSHE education by Friday 26 June.

Responding to a question from Labour MP Jess Phillips, the Education Secretary said: "We have until 26 June to respond to the report and we intend to do so by then."

The PSHE Association is pleased at the announcement of funding by the DfE to support development of character education in schools as part its character fund grants scheme.

The funding will allow the Association to develop and pilot a PSHE character curriculum, from key stages 1 to 4 in 10 schools. The project will be independently evaluated to measure its impact on the development of positive character attributes through the curriculum.

Last week, Cosmopolitan UK magazine quizzed representatives from the main parties about their positions on readers’ key election priorities - one of which was statutory PSHE.

Liberal Democrat, Labour and Green Party leaders Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband and Natalie Bennett agreed that the subject should be statutory. While the Conservatives' Nicky Morgan said PSHE was 'an important part of the curriculum', she did not commit to statutory status. UKIP’s Suzanne Evans said sex and relationships education should only be taught after age 11 and be left to parents before this age.

The PSHE Association has today launched new guidance for schools on preparing to teach about mental health and emotional wellbeing. The guidance has been produced under a grant from the Department for Education and will be accompanied by set of lesson plans spanning key stages 1-4 which will be published during the summer term. The guidance covers key issues including:

The PSHE Association is deeply concerned about the content of the 'My Self-Harm Nightmare' Channel 4 documentary  aired on Wednesday night which contains graphic depictions and description of self-harming, and therefore could be a ‘trigger’ to young people vulnerable to self-harm. We urge against any school using the documentary in the classroom for this reason.
Our Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Advisor, Dr. Pooky Knightsmith, is a leading expert in this field and comments that:

The PSHE Association is deeply concerned about the content of the 'My Self-Harm Nightmare' Channel 4 documentary  aired on Wednesday night which contains graphic depictions and description of self-harming, and therefore could be a ‘trigger’ to young people vulnerable to self-harm. We urge against any school using the documentary in the classroom for this reason.
Our Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Advisor, Dr. Pooky Knightsmith, is a leading expert in this field and comments that:

An OECD report released last week showed that self-confidence has a bigger impact on life chances in Britain than in almost any other country. Pupils with low self-belief but who have the capability to excel are falling short of their potential, and society is missing out on the skills they have to offer. In particular, British school girls’ lack of confidence in their own abilities has led them to lag behind boys in maths and science.

We know that teaching pupils about consent and healthy relationships is a priority for our members so we hope the launch of our new guidance today will support you in doing this. A reminder too that we will also cover consent and healthy relationships at our annual conference, which you can read about below along with the latest on our campaign for statutory PSHE - a vital step to ensuring all pupils receive this learning in school.

Launch of PSHE Association consent guidance

The PSHE Association welcomes Nicky Morgan’s speech last night on preparing pupils for life in modern Britain, which focused heavily on the role of PSHE education. Read the full speech here. We were however deeply disappointed that the Secretary of State did not make a commitment to statutory status for the subject.

Chief Executive Joe Hayman said:

The PSHE Association is pleased to have had its forthcoming guidance on consent and future plans to raise standards in PSHE education highlighted by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan in the Sunday Times today. We are however deeply disappointed that the Secretary of State did not use this opportunity to respond to the recent recommendation from the Education Select Committee that PSHE be made a statutory part of the curriculum.

Many people who experience eating disorders develop them during adolescence or even earlier. This means you may have a pupil in your class who currently has an eating disorder, or who may develop one in future. By talking about eating disorders in a PSHE lesson, you can both help pupils to recognise the signs of disordered eating, and encourage them to seek help.

For Eating Disorders Awareness Week, we’ve brought together a range of teacher resources, to support you to teach about eating disorders confidently and safely. As set out below, these focus on

It is a historic day for PSHE education. The Commons Education Committee’s landmark report recommending statutory status is a huge step on our journey to ensuring that all children and young people have access to the high-quality learning they need and deserve.

But what happens now?  

Ofsted yesterday published details of responses to its 'Better inspection for all' inspection. As part of this announcement, Ofsted confirmed that it would be including a judgement on personal development, behaviour and welfare in its new common inspection framework, to be implemented from September 2015. There will also be a welcome focus on outcomes for pupils, and on safeguarding, key priorities for the PSHE community.

PSHE Association Chief Executive Joe Hayman said:

The PSHE Association has today responded to Ofsted’s 'Better inspection for all’ consultation, welcoming on behalf of our members the greater focus on personal development and safeguarding in the new inspection framework, which we believe will be a big step forward and bring much needed balance to Ofsted inspections. In our submission, we have called for:

According to a YouGov survey commissioned by the PSHE Association, fewer than one in three (32%) business leaders think that schools are doing enough to equip pupils with skills for the world of work such as self-management, communication and teamwork, even though 98% believe these are important skills which school leavers need as they enter the workplace.

Following yesterday’s coverage of the Department for Education’s position on teaching about sexual orientation and faith schools, it is worth clarifying that the Equality Act 2010 sets expectations on all schools, including faith schools, to promote equality. It is also worth remembering that the overwhelming majority of schools, including faith schools, are working hard to do so.

Caroline Lucas’ PSHE (Statutory Requirement) Bill, which was due to be debated today, has been postponed until February. While this is disappointing for all those who were looking forward to seeing PSHE education debated in Parliament today, positive comments from Education Secretary Nicky Morgan mean that this remains a time of great possibility for the subject

Momentum continues to build for statutory PSHE education with three major teaching unions - NUT, ATL and NAHT – adding their support for compulsory status.  This support for statutory PSHE from teachers and school leaders may alleviate concerns amongst politicians that schools would feel overburdened if the subject was made compulsory.

With the summer holidays now here, we would like to thank PSHE practitioners across the country for their hard work over the past year. It has been a busy year for PSHE education, and we will continue to build on this momentum during the year ahead.

This week's relevant Parliamentary business included Caroline Lucas' Statutory Bill, and the first oral evidence session for the Education Select Committee inquiry into PSHE and SRE.

A recent survey undertaken by YouGov on behalf of the PSHE Association shows that 90% of parents believe that schools should teach children or young people about mental health and emotional wellbeing alongside traditional subjects like maths and science. Yet the PSHE Association has gathered strong evidence that schools are highly concerned about their capacity to support pupils’ emotional health.

The PSHE Association welcomes non-statutory guidance published by the Department for Education this week which aims to support schools in recognising and responding to mental health issues facing pupils. A key aim of the document is to decrease the number of pupils with mental health difficulties being branded as ‘troublemakers’ and to enable schools to develop and implement initiatives to promote positive mental health. 

The PSHE Association welcomes today’s British Medical Journal editorial on the importance of pupil health, wellbeing and personal development, and their positive impact on academic attainment and employability. The authors suggest policy solutions such as making PSHE education a statutory subject and school inspectors looking more closely at pupil health and personal development.

PSHE Association Chief Executive Joe Hayman said:

Janet Palmer HMI, Ofsted’s National Lead for PSHE education, writes for us here on the expectation for all schools to deliver PSHE education and the subject’s contribution to areas judged by Ofsted during whole school inspections.

We are very encouraged to hear Ofsted emphasising the importance of PSHE education in relation to such areas as pupil Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development, safeguarding and safety.

We are pleased to announce the publication of Sex and relationships education (SRE) for the 21st century, new guidance developed by the PSHE Association and our partners Brook and the Sex Education Forum. This advice supplements existing statutory Department for Education guidance for schools with information that better recognises the needs of our members when addressing 21st century challenges such as online pornography and staying safe online.

Pupil mental health was the biggest concern raised by members in our annual survey last year and we need feedback from PSHE teachers and leads on how we can help.

Complete this new pupil mental health survey in just 5-7 minutes* to help us understand your specific concerns and what guidance and resources we can support PSHE teachers and leads with.

The PSHE Association welcomes the Chief Medical Officer’s annual report ‘Our Children Deserve Better: Prevention Pays’ and in particular its focus on the health and wellbeing of children and young people. As the Chief Medical Officer notes, what happens early in life affects health and wellbeing later and there is a growing business case for improving the lives of children and young people.

As part of the DfE funded ADEPIS project, the PSHE Association was asked by national charity Mentor to carry out a mapping exercise with teachers about the state of drug and alcohol education in English schools. The survey of 288 teachers (over half of whom were paid members of the Association) showed that there are many current examples of good practice within schools and this provides a solid base upon which to build.

The PSHE Association has joined seventy other respected bodies and experts in calling for the Department for Education to update its guidance to schools on sex and relationships education (SRE), last updated in 13 years ago. A joint letter was published in the Daily Telegraph and supported by the Telegraph’s leader column today.

PSHE Association Chief Executive Joe Hayman said:

As you may be aware, the Department for Education announced earlier this year that it has asked the PSHE Association to identify a range of good practice on the teaching of consent in sex and relationships education in line with statutory guidance for the subject. We are therefore putting out a call for examples of good practice which will be assessed against our quality standards for PSHE education, with the highest-quality examples (either resources or case studies) promoted to our membership of over 5,000 teachers, school leaders and other education practitioners.

Schools from across Portsmouth gathered yesterday for the launch of an important new pilot initiative aimed at driving up standards of personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education in the city. PSHE education supports young people to negotiate real life challenges and opportunities including employability, relationships, safety and wellbeing.

We continue to work hard on your behalf to raise the profile of PSHE education at a national level and we wanted to update you on our progress. This is an exciting time with lots happening, so please follow our website and social media feeds to keep right up to date on progress relating to the following key activities:

Support for Children and Families Bill amendment for statutory PSHE

The PSHE Association welcomed strong cross party support for the subject in the House or Lords debate on PSHE education on 24th April.

Baroness Doreen Massey led the debate and there were over 15 speakers from across the political spectrum, covering issues from emergency first aid to the impact of online pornography, as well as the crucial role PSHE can play in preparing children for life in a rapidly changing world. 

The PSHE Association welcomes strong cross party support for the subject in the House or Lords debate on PSHE education on 24th April.

Baroness Doreen Massey led the debate and there were over 15 speakers from across the political spectrum, covering issues from emergency first aid to the impact of online pornography, as well as the crucial role PSHE can play in preparing children for life in a rapidly changing world.

The PSHE Association has signed a letter along with over 100 other organisations published in today’s Times calling for the Government to reverse proposed changes to the science curriculum which it is feared could undermine high-quality sex and relationships education (SRE) in schools across the country.

Chief Executive Joe Hayman said:

PSHE education is by its very nature a subject which includes a broad range of topics vital to helping young people negotiate life’s challenges and opportunities. Therefore it appeals to a wide range of organisations with a wide range of interests. Hundreds of organisations, from those focused on sex and drugs education to those interested in enterprise and employability, have a stake in the success of the subject.

We are encouraged by such strong cross-party support for yesterday's parliamentary motion to make personal, social, health and economic (PSHE)education a requirement in schools to help prevent violence and abuse towards women and girls. The debate was organised to coincide with a day of action for One Billion Rising, an international campaign to help raise awareness and tackle such abuse.

Our Chief Executive Joe Hayman today gave evidence to the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill Committee, following our submission of written evidence earlier in the week, which is available as a .pdf document below.

In Joe’s evidence and in our submission, we argue that schools already have the legal framework in place for teaching children and young people about marriage which will now need to include same sex marriage so that there is no need for new specific guidance or legislation regarding the teaching of same-sex marriage in schools.

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We are the national association for PSHE education professionals. Providing members with dedicated support, resources, training & guidance.

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