PSHE Association welcomes Chief Medical Officer’s annual report

The PSHE Association welcomes the Chief Medical Officer’s annual report ‘Our Children Deserve Better: Prevention Pays’ and in particular its focus on the health and wellbeing of children and young people. As the Chief Medical Officer notes, what happens early in life affects health and wellbeing later and there is a growing business case for improving the lives of children and young people. Of course, most importantly, the report reinforces that children and young people themselves want a greater emphasis on developing resilience and wellbeing in the support they are offered.

The report looks at PSHE education in some detail, noting:

“It is vitally important that all children and young people have access to good quality PSHE in schools that supports their developmental goals and enables them to successfully negotiate health risk behaviours and develop positive personal attributes… PSHE at school is an important part of the way in which schools can contribute to improving resilience and health among children...”

The report goes on to talk about the educational benefits of supporting the health and wellbeing of children and young people and describes PSHE education as:

“a subject that forms a bridge between health and education by building resilience and wellbeing.”

We welcome the opportunity to help to build that bridge between public health and educational outcomes by putting into action the recommendations from the report and continuing with our efforts to drive up standards in the subject more widely.

In response to the report, PSHE Association Chief Executive Joe Hayman said:

“We warmly welcome the CMO’s annual report, which highlights what an important subject PSHE education is. As the report notes, pupils value PSHE education, but want it to be improved, with more emphasis on resilience and emotional health, as well as sexual health and staying safe online. The report also indicates a need for more training for teachers, more use of specialists, more time on the curriculum and more emphasis on the subject in amongst all of the other priorities schools seek to address. These are goals we completely endorse and share.”

“We therefore welcome the CMO’s recommendation that Public Health England, the PSHE Association and other leading organisations in the field should review the evidence linking health and wellbeing with educational attainment and from that promote models of good practice for educational establishments to use. We look forward to conversations with Public Health England and other partners about putting this recommendation into practice.”

“In the meantime, we will be studying the report in detail and providing a comprehensive overview for our members shortly.” 


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