Today’s research brief from the Sutton Trust and upReach highlights the disparity in income between independent school graduates and their state school counterparts. The report shows that only half of this difference is explained by prior academic achievement, suggesting that personal and social skills such as communication and assertiveness also play a critical role in determining earnings.
In February, the Commons Education Committee recommended that Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education, the subject which teaches pupils to keep healthy and safe and prepares them for life and work, be made a statutory part of the curriculum in English schools. The campaign for statutory status has been going for many years with huge support, so there was much frustration when the Department for Education recently postponed its decision on what to do.
New research from the London School of Economics on behalf of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission identifies a ‘glass floor’, which means that less able, better-off pupils are more likely to become high earners than bright pupils from less-advantaged backgrounds.
A 10 minute rule motion on statutory status for PSHE education, tabled by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, was debated in the House of Commons today. The motion was supported by MPs from across the political spectrum.
This first reading was passed with 183 in favour and 44 against, meaning a second reading has now been scheduled for 22nd January, 2016.
The Government has postponed its response to the Commons Education Committee’s report on PSHE education which was due by today. The landmark report into PSHE and SRE in schools included a series of recommendation including that the subject be made statutory.
A new survey of young people aged 12 to 15 has found that over 9 in 10 pupils who are taught PSHE education believe that all pupils should receive these lessons. The subject covers topics like mental health, employability skills and healthy relationships but is currently non-statutory, meaning provision is sub-standard in 40% of schools according to Ofsted.
One of our immediate post-election priorities will be to ensure that Ministers in the new Conservative majority Government respond quickly and positively to the Commons Education Committee’s recommendation of statutory status for PSHE education.
The PSHE Association is concerned to see that both the Labour and Conservative manifestos fail to reference PSHE education.
It is a historic day for PSHE education. The Commons Education Committee’s landmark report recommending statutory status is a huge step on our journey to ensuring that all children and young people have access to the high-quality learning they need and deserve.
But what happens now?
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.