PSHE Association: briefing on social mobility case for statutory PSHE

Sep 23, 2016 12:12:00 PM

This new briefing shows that when delivered by trained teachers in line with best practice principles, PSHE education has significant potential to boost pupils’ life chances, helping them to develop the character, resilience and skills they need to succeed academically and in the workplace and reducing barriers to learning, particularly for the most disadvantaged pupils. It can provide opportunities for disadvantaged pupils to learn about the world of work in a way that their more advantaged peers may be able to access through their independent schooling or friend and family networks. This paper sets out these benefits in further detail and explores how statutory status for PSHE education could help to realise the huge potential of the subject to deliver the following positive outcomes for the most disadvantaged pupils:

  • Boosting academic success
  • Building character and key skills for life and work
  • Supporting employability
  • Removing barriers to learning

We launch this briefing two weeks after the Commons Education Committee raised the link between social mobility and PSHE education during a session with Education Secretary Justine Greening. Committee Chair Neil Carmichael stressed at the time that the importance of such life skills to social mobility further strengthens the argument for making PSHE a statutory school subject.

PSHE Association Chief Executive Jonathan Baggaley said:

“As the briefing demonstrates, PSHE education has huge potential to improve life chances and academic success for all pupils and especially the most disadvantaged, yet thousands of pupils miss out due to it not being a statutory subject on the curriculum. Equality of opportunity is key to social mobility, but independent schools
currently have an expectation that state schools don't when it comes to PSHE education.
Statutory status for PSHE education is therefore vital to ensure that all pupils enjoy the same opportunity to gain skills and attributes to thrive academically
and in their working lives, so we call on the government to listen to the overwhelming majority of parents and business leaders to make this change.