The PSHE Association has welcomed updated government guidance on safeguarding in schools, which contains stronger expectations on schools to teach pupils about how to keep themselves and others safe.
The updated document, ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, is due to come into effect from September 2016, and the section relating to PSHE education has been strengthened. The updated section now states that governing bodies ‘should ensure that children are taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities’ (the previous guidance had only suggested schools should consider providing such opportunities).
PSHE Association Chief Executive Joe Hayman said:
“This is a significant step forward and we welcome the Department for Education’s leadership on this issue. Alongside partners such as the NSPCC, we have long-argued that PSHE education should be the front line of child protection, and we welcome the strengthening of this guidance, which now makes clear that schools should not just respond to safeguarding concerns as they arise but put in place universal programmes to teach pupils how to keep themselves and others safe.
While we welcome this change, we of course continue to call for statutory status for PSHE education. Only statutory status will ensure that all children and young people receive the education they need and deserve and that parents across the country are calling for.”
Safeguarding is a significant concern for PSHE practitioners, so we have worked with the NSPCC to launch a short survey to find out what support they need to address online and offline safety through PSHE education. If you are a member of school staff, we would be grateful if you could complete this 5-minute survey by midnight on Tuesday 21st June.