Deep disappointment in Government delay in responding to Select Committee statutory PSHE recommendation

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. The Select Committee Chair Neil Carmichael expressed disappointment at this delay and has undertaken to continue to look at the Government's action on this issue. 

Yesterday’s 10 minute rule motion on PSHE, brought to Parliament by Caroline Lucas MP, was overwhelmingly supported by MPs from across the political spectrum, including Commons Health Committee Chair Sarah Wollaston and former Education Committee Chair Graham Stuart. The fact that the vote to have a second reading of the Bill was carried by 183 votes to 44 demonstrates the level of support across the political spectrum and that momentum behind statutory status continues to grow.

PSHE Association Chief Executive Joe Hayman said:

“We understand that the Government is giving the questions relating to statutory status serious consideration and that this takes time. We remain committed to working in partnership with Government on improving PSHE. Yet it is hard not to be deeply disappointed at another delay in the decision about statutory status because children and young people are missing out on education they want and need. Until we have statutory status, we will have no guarantee that pupils will receive lessons on how to stay safe or on preparing for the world of work or that where they do get lessons these will be taught by trained teachers. With that in mind, we call on the Government to make its decision on the status of the subject as quickly as possible.”

The campaign for statutory status continues to grow in momentum, with over 120 leading organisations including the six royal medical colleges, two royal societies, the British Youth Council, the Children’s Commissioner and the NSPCC. Statutory status is backed by Parliamentarians from across the political spectrum, 85% of business leaders, 87% of parents, 88% of teachers and 92% of young people. It is time for these voices to be heard.

"In the meantime, as we have always said, we should not simply wait for Government and we have today launched a series of lesson plans for primary schools focused on pupil mental health - an issue which we know is concerning teachers across the county."


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