Last week, Cosmopolitan UK magazine quizzed representatives from the main parties about their positions on readers’ key election priorities - one of which was statutory PSHE.
Liberal Democrat, Labour and Green Party leaders Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband and Natalie Bennett agreed that the subject should be statutory. While the Conservatives' Nicky Morgan said PSHE was 'an important part of the curriculum', she did not commit to statutory status. UKIP’s Suzanne Evans said sex and relationships education should only be taught after age 11 and be left to parents before this age.
Watch the full clip below or keep scrolling to read the highlights.
Ed Miliband, Labour
Are you going to put PSHE as statutory in schools?
"Yes we would, I think it is right to have sex and relationships education for primary and secondary schools, it’s got to be age-appropriate."
"I think we’ve got massive challenges…in the way men and women are viewed in our society and PSHE is actually one of the best means in terms of school, of young people knowing that men and women are equal and to see men and women in the right light"
Watch this section from 0.07
"Education for me is about passing exams, of course it is, but it's also about preparing young people for life and that's everything from mental health to the type of society we live in to all of the challenges."
Watch this section from 7.45
Suzanne Evans, UKIP
"What we plan to do is introduce sex education at age 11, partly because we also think it’s up to the family, so I very much took the view when I was bringing up my own daughter that I wouldn’t lie to her about anything and that if she asked those difficult questions, that we would talk about them but in a way that I felt was age-appropriate to her."
Watch this section from 1:12
Natalie Bennett, Green Party
"Well the Green Party not only intends to make PSHE a statutory part in all state schools, Caroline Lucas, the Green MP has already been working on this and has a Bill before Parliament."
"Children feel like they’re being pushed through exam after exam on academic subjects but we’re really not preparing pupils for life, by not giving them sex and relationships education in particular…but also things like personal finance, first aid, nutrition, food, there’s a whole range of preparation for life that we’re simply not giving our pupils and PSHE really covers a lot of that territory."
Watch this section from 2:01
Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrats
Do you intend to make PSHE education a statutory requirement in all state-funded schools?
“Yes, in a nut shell, if not at the moment because I couldn’t persuade my Conservative colleagues in government to do so.”
Watch this section from 2:59
“It should be taught in schools. Teachers, head teachers should regard it as a mainstream, uncontroversial and required thing for them to do.”
Watch this section 8.45
Nicky Morgan, Conservatives
“As Conservatives we believe that just because you make something statutory, that ends up being some sort of tick-box attitude”
“We absolutely make it clear to schools and to teachers that this should be an important part of the curriculum, but we aren’t going to put it on a statutory basis.”
Watch this section from 4.30
“I absolutely think there should be specialists and again that’s why we’re working with the PSHE Association and others to make sure there’s really good teaching materials and people coming in.”
Watch this section from 11.45
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