Statement on Times coverage of sharing of sexual images by school pupils

The PSHE Association has responded to a report in the Times on Saturday (March 12) relating to sharing of sexual images by school pupils.

Chief Executive Joe Hayman said:

“Working in partnership with parents to teach children and young people how to protect themselves and others is an important responsibility for schools. Yet Government policy on PSHE education, which maintains a status quo in which it is seen as acceptable for lessons to be delivered by untrained, unprepared teachers – or be left off the curriciulum altogether – does not help them.

We are pleased to see Maria Miller, the Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, add her name to those supporting the commitment to high-quality PSHE education in every school. She joins the Chairs of the Commons Education, Home Affairs, Health and Business, Innovation and Skills Committees, Parliamentarians from across the political spectrum, the Children’s Commissioner, the Chief Medical Officer, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, the Association of Independent Local Safeguarding Children Boards Chairs, the NSPCC, two royal societies, six medical royal colleges, over 100 expert bodies, 85% of business leaders, 88% of teachers, 90% of parents and 92% of young people.

The government has a range of objectives it seeks to achieve through PSHE education, including teaching pupils to stay safe online, promoting pupils’ mental health and preventing radicalisation, child sexual exploitation and violence against women and girls. It is time to raise the status of the subject so that lessons on these issues are delivered by trained teachers in adequate curriculum time.

Too often, PSHE education is considered only in terms of the risks it addresses, but we hope the government will recognise that a high-quality PSHE programme would not only address these risks, but also help to prepare pupils for exams, for work experience and for the National Citizen Service.”

Read more about the support for raising the status of PSHE education on our campaigns page.

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