Strong parent support for preventative PSHE education

May 9, 2024 4:05:08 PM

The best PSHE education involves a partnership between parents and schools, so we’re encouraged that support for PSHE education remains very high with parents of both primary and secondary aged pupils. 

Our recent YouGov polling[i] of almost 1,000 parents of 5-18 year olds showed that:

  • 88% of parents feel that schools and parents should share responsibility for teaching children about digital safety issues including fake news, negative online influencers and sending/receiving sexual images. Only 5% of parents felt it was their responsibility alone.
  • 95% felt schools had a responsibility to teach about the dangers of grooming and abusive behaviour online.
  • Almost 9 out of 10 (87%) parents polled – including those of primary aged children – also agree that schools should have a role, alongside parents and/carers, in teaching children and young people facts about relationships and sex. This rises to 95% agreement for parents who felt they were well consulted by the school about what relationships and sex education covered.

It’s therefore clear that when parents know what’s covered in PSHE education they are even more likely to support its aims. A misunderstanding of these aims, and what’s covered, can lead to confusion or concern. Communicating with parents clearly and openly on PSHE/RSHE is therefore key and we’ve been working hard to support schools with this, including:

We’re confident that the introduction of statutory RSHE in 2020 is having a positive impact on PSHE standards (polling of young people showing improved satisfaction with RSHE would certainly suggest so). The statutory guidance is now due an update, so we are expecting draft updated guidance to be published very soon for public consultation and hope that it continues to reflect parents’ and young people’s desire for preventative, protective education on a range of crucial topics.


1. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4,317 adults, of whom 928 were parents of 5-18 year olds. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18th - 20th October 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+). See data from this survey here.