News Digest 01 – 05 May

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.

Health and Education Select Committees call for statutory PSHE
The Health and Education Select Committees have concluded the Children and young people’s mental health — the role of education inquiry with a report that highlighted schools’ and colleges’ key  role in promoting and protecting the mental and wellbeing of children and young people. The Committees welcome the Government’s proposals to make PSHE statutory, and asked that the new government honours this commitment post-election, when a consultation on these proposals is due to begin. The report did however stress that the promotion of mental health and wellbeing shouldn’t only be through PSHE education, but should be a whole-school approach.  

Social media is highlighted in the report as having a potentially detrimental effect on aspects of mental health such as self-esteem. The Committees therefore also recommend compulsory PSHE as a means to educate children on how to assess and manage online risks and make informed choices about their social media use.

Financial education can be improved by introducing compulsory PSHE
A new survey of over 2,000 British people by insolvency and restructuring trade body R3 and ComRes has found that only 10% of adults feel that they have received useful advice about personal finance through school. 66% of respondents answered that they haven’t received any advice about personal finance at all.

R3 says that the government announcement to hold a consultation on making PSHE education compulsory in schools creates a great opportunity to improve financial education. Mark Sands, Chair of R3's Personal Insolvency Committee and a Partner at RSM, commented: “Becoming confident and knowledgeable about personal finances is vital, and helps boost people's resilience in the face of unexpected events which can otherwise lead to financial problems. The government is willing to consider making PSHE education compulsory, which would mean more young people having access to high-quality information on personal finance and would really help improve levels of financial capability.”

He also added that: “While the sex and relationships aspects of PSHE education often get the headlines, the 'E' in ' PSHE ' is just as important.”

New relationships and sex education courses
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.

To help teachers and their schools prepare for the changes that will come about, the PSHE Association has decided to create a number of new courses including one on getting ready for Relationships Education within your primary PSHE curriculum and one on getting ready for statutory Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) within your secondary PSHE curriculum. The training will take place in York and London later this year and in early 2018.  Visit the Association website for more information on these and other courses we run.

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