Strong support for statutory PSHE as DfE call for evidence closes

Feb 12, 2018 5:00:00 AM

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. A DfE call for evidence on PSHE and RSE closes today.

With statutory relationships and sex education (RSE) due to be introduced from 2019, this briefing outlines why RSE should form part of broader statutory PSHE education for reasons of effectiveness and ease of implementation for schools. Applying statutory status to the whole of PSHE would also address the fact that a high proportion of pupils continue to miss out on learning to stay safe (online and offline); healthy (physically and mentally); and prepared for life and work. PSHE has been proven to support these areas and aid academic attainment, but is often squeezed from the curriculum due to poor status relative to other subjects.

This briefing is supported by British Heart Foundation and St John Ambulance (Every Child a Lifesaver coalition); Brook; Career Development Institute; Barnardo's; Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition;  Economic, Business and Enterprise Association (EBEA); Economy; Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare; Mentor UK; National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT); National Education Union (NEU); NSPCC; Sex Education Forum; Young Enterprise (incorporating Young Money, formerly pfeg) and the PSHE Association.

The briefing is just one indication of the growing momentum behind statutory PSHE education. This past week alone has seen a constructive parliamentary debate with a consensus of MPs from across parties agreeing on the merit of PSHE in relation to issues such as mental and physical health (including first aid and cancer detection) and crime prevention. Then a joint letter to The Times on Friday from over 20 leading organisations and individuals called on the government to make PSHE education statutory from 2019. The PSHE Association and partners look forward to working with the government to help ensure PSHE and RSE proposals meet their significant potential.