PSHE Association responds to Office of Children’s Commissioner Report on pornography

The PSHE Association welcomes today’s report from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner which highlights worrying evidence of the impact of pornography on children growing up in England.

As the report shows, children are increasingly exposed to violent and sadistic pornographic material, which has a very serious impact on their attitudes towards risk, relationships and sex. The report also reflects on the positive role that PSHE education has in addressing these extremely worrying trends. We agree that in a world where it is virtually impossible to prevent children being exposed to such material, support from schools, in collaboration with parents, families and communities, is important in helping pupils to understand healthy and safe relationships. This is a very challenging area and in order to address it properly, schools need more support, both from central Government and organisations like ourselves.

Chief Executive Joe Hayman said:

“This report confirms trends consistently described by our members and should cause all who work in the world of education to look again at the part we can play in addressing this issue. We all have a responsibility on such matters, and status quo responses should not be considered acceptable given the gravity of the issues explored in the report.”

“Both central Government and organisations working with schools on a local or national level should reflect on the lessons we can learn from this report, and consider what more we could do to help schools to play their part to address these issues in the future. We continue to call for statutory PSHE education, but we also need to provide teachers with more support so that they can deal with these trends more effectively. Leaving things as they currently are is clearly not sufficient, as Ofsted’s recent report on PSHE education showed.”

“The PSHE Association will be taking time to go through this report in detail, giving it the consideration it deserves and thinking carefully about what more we can do to support our members on addressing this critical issue in the future. In the meantime, we would point teachers worried about the impact of pornography to our guidance on the issue".


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