Today’s Times carries a letter signed by a group of prominent Parliamentarians and child protection experts calling on Government to make PSHE education a statutory subject in response to recent child sexual exploitation reports.
The letter is signed by three former Ministers, including two former Secretaries of State for Education, the Children’s Commissioner, the NSPCC and six royal medical colleges. It notes that the Commons education and home affairs committees, and the joint committee on human rights, have all stressed that PSHE lessons can help to keep pupils safe and that inquiries into child sexual exploitation in Birmingham, Rochdale, Rotherham, Greater Manchester and Oxfordshire have highlighted the importance of such lessons. It calls on the Prime Minister to ensure that all children receive this learning by making it compulsory in all schools.
PSHE Association Chief Executive Joe Hayman said:
“The Prime Minister referred to child sexual exploitation as a national threat at last week’s CSE summit, but his Government has yet to respond to the Commons Education Committee’s recommendation that PSHE education should be made statutory on the curriculum. This is the only way that we can guarantee that all pupils learn how to protect themselves and others.
The fact the so many respected Parliamentarians and child protection experts have come together to support this cause shows how important it is. The appalling abuse which young people have suffered makes it incumbent on us all to do everything we can in response. That should start with the Prime Minister.”
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