The PSHE Association today welcomed positive comments from three government ministers (Education Minister Edward Timpson, Minister for Equalities Caroline Dinenage and Home Office Minister Karen Bradley) giving evidence to the Commons Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into sexual harassment and violence in schools.
The most noteworthy comments came when Edward Timpson was asked by Conservative MP Flick Drummond if he would commit to making the subject statutory. He responded:
“As things stand today [it] is still the government’s position [that] the PSHE offer to children has to be predominantly about quality … and that’s why we’ve been working very closely with the PSHE Association to ensure that we provide the material, the toolkits, the support to schools to get them up to the level that they need to be. Now having said all of that, it’s no secret that the Secretary of State is very passionate about this area of policy and wants to see further progress and so I hope that we can do that in the coming weeks and months and demonstrate the real commitment that the government has to this.”
Responding on behalf of the PSHE Association, Chief Executive Joe Hayman said:
“These are some of the the most positive comments I have heard from ministers about PSHE education and are hugely welcome at a time when PSHE education is under pressure in schools and parents are concerned about their children’s safety online and offline. The comments suggest that given the right political climate, much needed progress on the status of the subject can be made. We look forward to making the case for action to the new Prime Minister and her ministers as soon as she takes up post.”
Click here to view the evidence session [note the relevant section begins 11 minutes 27 seconds in]