We would like to draw members’ attention to a new Department for Education timeline of mandatory information for schools and in particular a specific requirement for all schools to include information about their PSHE education provision when publishing their curriculum this spring.
We are heartened to see such a strong requirement for schools to publish information about their PSHE programmes and hope that it encourages all schools to give this subject the space it deserves on the curriculum. The DfE guidance suggests that headteachers, principals and governors should consult our Programme of Study and SRE policy guidance when determining what their school's PSHE programmes should include.
Our Curriculum Lead, Nick Boddington, said:
“It is encouraging to see a strong expectation on schools to have robust PSHE education provision in place. As suggested in the DfE guidance, schools should find it helpful to refer to the PSHE Association Programme of Study and guidance on updating school SRE policies.
This new DfE guidance helps to strengthen our resolve to ensure all children and young people receive good quality PSHE education. We now encourage all PSHE teachers and coordinators to contact those responsible for updating their school's website to make sure any PSHE curriculum information published there is current and accurate.”
Alongside our Programme of Study and SRE policy guidance, we offer our member schools and teachers comprehensive support and training to plan and deliver PSHE education effectively, so do get in touch should you require specific support from us.
As announced this week we also look forward to working with partners Brook and the Sex Education Forum on new SRE guidance to cover modern issues such as staying safe online. This will be published soon and be supplementary to existing statutory guidance.
We have clarified a number of areas of the guidance with the DfE. Answers to frequently asked questions can be found below:
Are schools required to publish details of their PSHE curriculum?
Yes. As set out on the Department for Education’s mandatory timeline for Schedule 4 of the School Information (England) Regulations 2012, schools must publish details of their curriculum. The Department for Education has specified that this includes PSHE education. Published policies on PSHE education may be checked by Ofsted when undertaking Section 5 inspections.
The mandatory timeline states:
“All schools must publish their school curriculum by subject and academic year, including their provision of personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE). To support schools in doing this, the PSHE Association has published its own guidance on drafting and reviewing a school's sex and relationship policy and a suggested programme of study for PSHE. Academies and free schools are also required to publish information similar to that required by the regulations relating to their curriculum through their funding agreements.”
What does the word ‘publish’ mean in the mandatory timeline?
The full requirements for what must be published on your school’s website are set out in the School Information (England) Regulations 2012, Schedule 4. Individual schools must decide what these requirements mean in practice. However, we believe that the same level of detail should be given for PSHE education as for all other subjects, and it is worth reviewing the curriculum materials that your school currently publishes online. We believe published material should also aim to be informative to pupils and parents who want to see what the school has in mind for PSHE education.
Are schools required to publish details of their Sex and Relationships Education?
Under the Education Act 1996, all maintained schools are required to have an up to date policy on SRE. While there is no requirement for academies to have an SRE policy, most academies, including primary academies, do set this out in a policy. Any SRE delivered is part of the school curriculum and should therefore be published on the school website under Schedule 4 of School Information Regulations 2012.
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