We welcome the strong cross party support for PSHE education in Parliament this week.
This morning, Barbara Keeley MP led an Adjournment Debate on PSHE education in Westminster Hall which was attended by over 20 members of Parliament from across the political spectrum. Speakers were overwhelmingly supportive of high-quality PSHE, reinforcing the subject’s critical importance alongside purely academic learning. A full transcript of this debate is now available.
The MPs who spoke in support of PSHE education covered a range of issues, from financial literacy to teenage pregnancy, as well as the critical role PSHE education can play in keeping children safe. High-quality PSHE education binds these diverse issues together by supporting children to develop the tools they need to make good decisions - such as managing emotions and analysing risk - and is most effective when delivered in a regular timetable slot by teachers who are trained in, and comfortable with, the subject area – an issue many of the speakers in the debate addressed in their contributions.
The MPs also discussed the vital importance of tailoring PSHE education to the needs of children, which will of course vary across the country. We believe that high-quality PSHE education equips pupils to make good decisions whatever their circumstances and is therefore crucial for every child but should fit the needs of children within the context of their families and communities. We were therefore heartened by the overwhelming support for tailored and age-appropriate PSHE education in today’s debate.
This support for PSHE within Parliament builds on the All Party Group for Children which on Monday heard about the outstanding practice in Goose Green Primary School in south London, a PSHE Association charter school which has been turned around, according to its headteacher, because of its focus on PSHE. Melonie Syrett, one of our PSHE chartered teachers, spoke with great authority to Parliamentarians from across the spectrum about the value of PSHE education, and the school’s work also gained plaudits from Maggie Atkinson, the Children’s Commissioner, who was in attendance. Melonie explained her reasons to the group for becoming a Chartered Teacher, saying that "This has been an amazing opportunity. Becoming a Chartered Teacher has not only let others see that I am an effective practitioner but it has encouraged me to share my expertise and experience. I am firmly of the opinion that supporting others and sharing our ideas will raise the quality of PSHE in schools."
- Transcript of 16th January Adjournment Debate on PSHE Education
- Supporting article from Barbara Keeley MP
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