How to address gambling through PSHE education

How to address gambling through PSHE education

Front cover of the GambleAware PSHE Association teacher handbook

Our handbook collates latest research into how the curriculum can address gambling and identifies relevant knowledge, skills and attributes students should develop during primary and secondary education. This work is timely given secondary schools will be required to ‘teach about the risks related to online gambling including the accumulation of debt’ from September 2020, as part of statutory Health Education.

As part of our research, we held focus groups and conducted a survey with teachers to determine their current perceptions and experience of gambling prevention education. The survey revealed that the vast majority (78%) of primary teachers had not addressed gambling as part of PSHE lessons that year, and the same was true for over half of secondary teachers. This is despite 11% of 11 to 16-year olds having gambled during the previous week according to an annual survey published by the Gambling Commission (compared to 5% who had smoked a cigarette and 3% who had used drugs).

We hope this handbook — and additional materials to be published in the New Year — will increase the number of schools addressing this important issue, and give teachers the confidence to cover it to a high standard through their PSHE education curricula.



Dr Jane Rigbye, Director of Education at GambleAware has said:
“We know that more children have gambled, than smoked cigarettes or taken drugs in the last week, but very few have actually been taught about the risks associated with gambling and what the signs of problem gambling are. By working closely with the PSHE Association we have been able to better understand what works when it comes to teaching children about gambling harms.

“Gambling is a health and wellbeing issue which needs to be addressed from a public health perspective. The commissioning of this work has provided us with the relevant evidence and guidance needed to help teachers and pupils better understand the nature of gambling and the harms which can arise from it.”
Jonathan Baggaley, Chief Executive of the PSHE Association has said:
"Teaching about the risks of gambling is a natural fit for the PSHE curriculum, and indeed teaching about the risks of online gambling will be a compulsory aspect from next year. This handbook marks the first product of our partnership with GambleAware and we look forward to launching lesson plans and other materials in the New Year to further support schools"

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