PSHE Association response to the DfE Consultation on PSHE Education
28 November 2011
The PSHE Association is pleased to respond to the DfE review of PSHE education and endorses the Government’s commitment to PSHE education made in White Papers on education and public health (November 2010).
Our response reflects feedback from an online survey (of members and others) and two focus groups of key members/stakeholders working across the breadth of PSHE education. We would like to thank all of those who contributed their valuable time and input. Read our full response document.
John Lloyd, Policy Adviser said, “PSHE education is a vital component of children’s and young people’s personal development and wellbeing. It is too important to be left to chance and piecemeal ‘topic’ provision.”
Dr Lloyd went on to say:
“The current situation, which has some elements statutory and some non-statutory is confusing for schools. To add additional statutory themes or topics could create further confusion”.
The Association believes that it is possible to create a statutory entitlement for all pupils to receive PSHE education without it having foundation subject status or making the programme of study statutory. A non-statutory programme of study would guide schools in planning their programme whilst leaving them to decide their own priorities.
Existing themes of health, relationships, careers and world of work should be incorporated into a single framework. Emphasis should also be placed on areas such as parenting, relationships and sexual consent and online safety. Careers learning, financial education and emergency life support skills should be included and sex education should remain statutory as a special case. Schools should have the flexibility to develop the curriculum in a way that is appropriate to the school community.
The PSHE education curriculum should be responsive to pupils’ own perceived needs, concerns and interests as well as those of the community and should reflect parental concerns where appropriate. This would better enable schools to focus their curriculum and teaching on locally defined priorities.
All teachers – including those in training - should understand the current statutory duty on schools to promote wellbeing and their own role in doing so. They should receive information explaining that PSHE education is the principal way in which health and wellbeing is promoted and delivered in schools. Training schools should be aware of how PSHE education contributes to the behaviour and safety of pupils as set out in the Teachers’ Standards
(2011) and factored into the new Ofsted Inspection Framework
Public, private and voluntary sector expertise is valuable in supporting and enhancing aspects of PSHE education. Such support should be used as part of PSHE education provision taught by fully qualified, experienced, well trained, confident and competent teachers. John Lloyd emphasised that: “Contributions from the public, private and voluntary sector can enrich PSHE education but should never replace well planned, taught and assessed provision”.
The Association asks Ministers to make clear and strong statements about:
- the importance of PSHE education
- the expectation that schools will take seriously pupils' entitlement to a planned, progressive, high quality curriculum
- the importance of PSHE education being taught by confident and competent teachers.
Enquiries to John Dillon, Marketing and Communications Officer:
or call 020 7922 7950
PSHE Association response to the DfE Consultation on PSHE Education FINAL.pdf