Our Chief Executive Joe Hayman today gave evidence to the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill Committee, following our submission of written evidence earlier in the week, which is available as a .pdf document below.
In Joe’s evidence and in our submission, we argue that schools already have the legal framework in place for teaching children and young people about marriage which will now need to include same sex marriage so that there is no need for new specific guidance or legislation regarding the teaching of same-sex marriage in schools.
We go on to argue that additional support for PSHE education in general would be the best way to ensure that a rich and non-stigmatising experience is the reality for all pupils. Teachers – and in particular non-specialists – need to be trained to enable them to provide well balanced and correct information, to support students to develop the emotional and social skills to keep safe, maintain health and well being, manage their lives now and in the future.
We conclude that not every child will receive such provision until PSHE is made statutory and a range of complementary measures are put in place, including:
- Greater emphasis on PSHE education in initial teacher training and in qualification programmes for head teachers;
- Greater recognition in the Ofsted inspection framework of the critical role PSHE can play in wider school outcomes;
- A national quality-assurance programme for providers of PSHE resources and training, acknowledging that current provision is patchy;
- Greater support for PSHE teachers and a national campaign aimed at governors and school leaders to build PSHE into a whole-school approach to improvement and pupil wellbeing.
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