Statutory PSHE education recommended by Commons Education Committee

The PSHE Association has warmly welcomed the recommendations published in today’s Education Committee report on PSHE education, a significant milestone in the journey towards a statutory entitlement to the subject for all school pupils. The ‘Life Lessons’ report, which will be sent to the Department for Education for consideration, makes a number of key recommendations, including:

  • The Department for Education should develop a work plan for introducing PSHE and SRE as statutory subjects in primary and secondary schools.
  • The funding of continuous professional development for PSHE teachers and school nurses should be reinstated.
  • Ofsted should resume its regular subject surveys of PSHE provision.
  • The statutory requirement should have minimal prescription content to ensure that schools have flexibility to respond to local needs and priorities.
  • SRE should be renamed Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) to emphasise the relationships element of the subject.
  • All schools should be required to run a regular consultation with parents on their SRE provision.
  • The parental right to withdraw their child from elements of SRE should be retained.
  • The Government should endorse the SRE guidance produced by Brook, the Sex Education Forum and the PSHE Association and promote this more actively to schools and governors.

PSHE Association Chief Executive Joe Hayman said:
“This is a huge step forward: we warmly welcome such endorsement for statutory PSHE from such a highly influential committee. We are hugely grateful for the support of our members in putting our case together and we are delighted that the Committee has listened.”
“Statutory status for PSHE would have a massive impact on all schools and is supported by 87% of parents, 88% of teachers, 85% of business leaders, five Royal Medical Colleges, two royal societies and over one hundred expert organisations.”
“Four recent inquiries into child sexual exploitation have also called for this learning to be compulsory in schools to keep children safe, while the Office of the Children’s Commissioner has expressed concern in today's 'Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Gangs and Groups: One year on' report that its recommendation that PSHE is made statutory has not been adopted by Government.”
“We were particularly pleased that the Committee listened to young people when taking evidence: hundreds of thousands of young people have voted to make ‘a Curriculum which prepares us for Life’ a UK Youth Parliament campaign priority for two years in a row.”
“We now call on Ministers to urgently review their position in light of the overwhelming need for statutory PSHE, and the widespread support including that expressed by the Education Select Committee. We will keep members closely updated on developments in the weeks ahead.”


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