As we enter 2015, the PSHE Association has set out its priorities for the year ahead.
Mental health and emotional wellbeing
Supporting pupils’ mental health and emotional wellbeing continues to be the top concern for our members. Wellbeing underpins almost everything we are seeking to achieve through PSHE education so we’re delighted to be working with the Department for Education to produce guidance and lesson plans on this issue. Further details will follow soon.
Employability and aspiration
The world of work is changing and more employers are looking for the kind of skills we seek to develop through PSHE education, such as self-management, communication and teamwork. In 2014 a range of business leaders called for such skills to be developed in schools. We want 2015 to be the year that PSHE education’s role in developing these skills and building pupils’ career aspirations is acknowledged and developed.
Pupil safeguarding continues to be a big priority for members, so we have made it the theme for our annual conference this year. We will use safeguarding as a starting point to explore how pupils can build positive, safe relationships and become physically and emotionally healthier while managing life’s opportunities and risks safely. Bookings for the annual conference will open shortly.
Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) is a key element of safeguarding, with the concepts of healthy relationships and consent lying at its heart. We will launch our long-awaited guidance on consent early in the year. We also know that keeping children safe goes beyond SRE, so will seek to produce and highlight guidance on other areas of concern, such as drugs and alcohol, prejudice-based bullying, online safety and extremism.
Healthy weight will be a key priority in the year ahead as we seek to support members concerned about how to address obesity, malnutrition and eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia. We also know that good education about health has an impact on prevention and early diagnosis of conditions like cancer, while universal learning about emergency first aid and life-saving skills in schools has been shown to have saved thousands of lives in countries where it is mandatory. We will continue to call for this key learning to be on the curriculum in all schools as part of statutory PSHE (see below).
Working with Government
We will continue our campaign to Government for statutory status for PSHE education in 2015, which is of course an election year. The campaign has overwhelming support from pupils, parents, teachers and business leaders, while 100 leading organisations have now joined up in support. If we continue to harness that support, we do believe that we can succeed. In the meantime, we will continue to offer support to our members in interpreting Government priorities relating to PSHE such as character development and British values.
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