In her annual report published today, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Professor Dame Sally Davies, recommended that the Department for Education and Department of Health make PSHE education “a routine part of all children’s education”. This follows support the CMO gave to the subject in her annual report published in December 2013, in which she wrote “it is vitally important that all children and young people have access to good quality PSHE in schools”.
Talking about PSHE education in this year’s report, which focuses on women’s health, the CMO notes that current provision is “patchy and, where it does exist, it often needs improvement.” The CMO goes on to note the Commons Education Committee’s recommendation for statutory status for the subject and concludes by making her own recommendation that PSHE education should be a routine part of all children’s education.
In response, PSHE Association Chief Executive Joe Hayman said:
“We welcome the Chief Medical Officer’s renewed focus on PSHE education at this critical moment for the subject. As the CMO says, provision is currently patchy, and if we are to meet her recommendation that PSHE education becomes a routine part of every child’s education, we believe that statutory status is essential.
Statutory status is backed not just by the Commons Education Committee but also the Chair of the Commons Health Committee, Dr Sarah Wollaston, as well as six medical royal colleges, Public Health England, the Association of Directors of Public Health, the Faculty of Public Health, and the Royal Society for Public Health.
We call on the government to act on the recommendations of health experts and make PSHE education a statutory subject.”