News Digest 6 July - 3 August

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Government commits to making health and relationships aspects of PSHE compulsory, and publishes draft guidance for consultation
The government confirmed on 19 July that it will be compulsory for all schools to teach the health and relationships aspects of PSHE education from 2020. PSHE Association Chief Executive Jono Baggaley called this ‘a huge win’ for those of us campaigning for years to ensure PSHE has a higher status in schools and we released a new briefing on what this will mean in practice. Accompanying guidance was published at the same time for consultation until November, and the Association will submit a response in due course.

Major DCMS Committee report highlights role of PSHE education in promoting digital literacy and learning to recognise fake news
The Committee’s  ‘Disinformation and fake news’ interim report was published on 29 July and emphasised the importance of schools, saying ‘digital literacy’ should be the ‘fourth pillar of education’ and delivered through the PSHE curriculum.

Ofsted report mentions role of PSHE in tackling childhood obesity
Ofsted has published a report on the role of schools in the fight against childhood obesity. It concludes that while schools play an important role in encouraging healthy lifestyles, they cannot solve the whole problem. The report highlights the PSHE education curriculum’s role in providing valuable learning for children who may not be taught about healthy food and exercise at home.

Written questions:

  • Anne Main asked the Secretary of State for Education whether his department plans to introduce requirements for schools to teach pupils in secondary school about the dangers of gambling online. Nick Gibb answered that the Government wants all schools to deliver a high-quality education that ensures all young people are equipped with the knowledge they need for adult life. Many schools choose to teach about gambling in PSHE education and the non-statutory PSHE programme of study by the PSHE Association includes teaching about gambling and its psychological and financial impact
  • Richard Burden asked whether the Secretary of State for Education is taking steps to increase the availability of pastoral support in primary and secondary schools. Nick Gibb answered that it is up to schools to decide what pastoral support is put in place, based on the needs of pupils. Many schools build pastoral support around relationships and health education provision. The Government is currently consulting on new statutory guidance and regulations for schools.

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