The report warns against people’s attitudes to racism and discrimination becoming ‘normalised’ and calls on the Government to do more to define racism and religious discrimination and raise awareness of what these definitions mean.
A key recommendation of the report concerns making PSHE education compulsory in all schools, with teachers receiving better training on tackling racism and discrimination.
The launch was attended by Education Minister Edward Timpson, who stressed the importance of the report’s findings and of PSHE education in tackling these issues while reiterating the Department for Education’s plans to improve PSHE education’s quality and status.
The report resulted from racism and religious and discrimination being a priority campaigning topic for the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) this year. Last Friday, the UKYP voted for a ‘curriculum for life’ to be its next campaigning priority for England in 2017. This campaign will also stress the need for PSHE (including sex and relationships education) to be statutory to help young people meet the challenges and opportunities of today’s world – including staying safe, physically and mentally healthy and being better prepared for employment.
PSHE Association Deputy CEO Jenny Barksfield said:
“The recommendation in this report into racism and religious discrimination and the UK Youth Parliament’s decision to prioritise campaigning on statutory PSHE next year highlight the importance young people attach to receiving an education that prepares them to manage the complex pressures and challenges of today’s world.
The message from young people is loud and clear and the Government must listen. The time has come to improve the status of PSHE education and sex and relationships education in all schools to ensure universal good quality provision, taught by trained teachers in timetabled curriculum time. We value the Department for Education’s commitment to improving the quality and status of PSHE education but in order to arrest and reverse a decline in time allocated to the subject and improve quality, statutory status is a must”.