PSHE News Digest 18-25 November

During this week our Deputy CEO Jenny Barksfield gave oral evidence to the Lords Financial Exclusion Committee on the importance of PSHE education to financial literacy and Education Minister Lord Nash was questioned by his fellow peers about strengthening the status of PSHE in a debate on sex and relationships education. The Association also pledged support for the #iwill social action campaign and a report by Ofsted suggested that schools should be doing more to prepare young people for the world of work.

PSHE Association gave evidence to the Lords Financial Exclusion Committee 
On November 22nd our Deputy CEO Jenny Barksfield gave evidence to the Financial Inclusion Committee on behalf of the Association. During the hour long session in the House of Lords, Jenny and Adrian Lyons HMI (Ofsted’s lead for economics, business and enterprise) discussed how the proper implementation of financial education in schools could tackle financial exclusion in society.

Both Jenny and Mr Lyons agreed that the quality of financial education is currently under par.  Jenny made the case that statutory PSHE education would greatly help to address this and provide the ideal framework for finance related learning including an understanding of money, financial risk and enterprise. Audio from the debate is available on the Parliament Live website and the official transcript is available here.

Awareness week for the #iwill campaign to encourage youth social action
This was #iwill week – an awareness week for the #iwill campaign initiative which aims to promote social action among 10-20 year-olds. Step Up to Serve, the charity that coordinates the event, strives to increase youth participation in social action from 40% to 60% by 2020.

The PSHE Association joined many others in pledging to support and publicise the campaign, while highlighting the links between social action and the skills, knowledge and attributes young people gain through PSHE education – including development of character and improved skills for life and work.

PSHE and SRE debated in the House of Lords
A number of Peers highlighted the need for PSHE education to be a statutory subject during a debate in the House of Lords on PSHE and sex and relationships education (SRE). In his responses, Education Minister Lord Nash recognised the need to improve quality, and stated that:

“The case for further action on PSHE and SRE delivery is actively under review, with particular consideration being given to improving quality and accessibility”.

Please click here to read the full transcript of the debate.

Ofsted’s ‘Getting ready for work’ report stresses the importance of enterprise education but laments poor quality in many schools
On 24 November Ofsted published a report on the quality of enterprise education in England. The report states that schools should be doing more to prepare young people for the world of work. According to the report only 4 out of 40 inspected schools demonstrate quality enterprise education. HM Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw said:

“One of the ways we can bridge the social divide is by ensuring all young people have equal access to work-related knowledge that will guide and prepare them for the next stage of their lives.”

Pressures on finances and curriculum time were cited in the report as reasons why many schools don’t adequately cover these topics. The Association will continue to make the case that PSHE education can play a key part in preparing pupils for the world of work through increasing understanding of enterprise, employability skills, economic understanding and communication skills – all important elements of our Programme of Study for PSHE Education.


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