The PSHE Association welcomes today’s statement by the Liberal Democrats in support of a statutory requirement for PSHE education in all state schools and calls from the Labour party for important areas of the PSHE curriculum such as sex and relationships education to be made compulsory. These calls follow strong support from senior Conservative Lord Fowler last week calling for the subject to be a requirement in every school.
Chief Executive Joe Hayman said
“As the general election approaches, we are heartened to see parties giving statutory PSHE the consideration it deserves. Yet even before the election, there is the opportunity to realise the long ambition for statutory PSHE: Green Party MP Caroline Lucas’s PSHE (Statutory Requirement) Bill - which is sponsored by a number of MPs from other parties - is due to have its second reading on October 24. We call on all parties to support the passage of this bill through Parliament so that we can ensure that all pupils get the curriculum for life they and their parents have been calling for.”
1. Parents and young people support PSHE. Almost 500,000 young people were involved in the UK Youth Parliament’s influential ‘Curriculum for Life’ campaign, while 90% of parents support the idea that schools should support pupils’ health, wellbeing and personal and social development.
2. There is strong evidence, captured in a recent British Medical Journal editorial, that supporting pupils’ health, wellbeing and personal and social development has important knock-on benefits in terms of academic attainment and future employability.
3. Making PSHE statutory would mean well-trained teachers and sufficient time for the subject on the curriculum. Without such change, the subject is at risk of continuing to be, in the words of Ofsted, “not yet good enough”.
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