PSHE Association welcomes overwhelming support from educators and experts for statutory PSHE

Posted On: 
5th June 2018

Today’s report from a coalition of teaching unions and expert organisations demonstrates the overwhelming support for making personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education a statutory curriculum subject, including but not limited to crucial learning about relationships and sex.

PSHE education is the school curriculum subject which supports children and young people to be safe (online and offline), mentally and physically healthy, and prepared for life and work in modern Britain. PSHE however isn’t on the same, statutory footing as other subjects – so curriculum time and consistency of quality suffer, despite its proven impact.

The ‘Statutory PSHE Education: meaningful change supported by busy teachers & school leaders’ report highlights that a decision by government to make PSHE statutory would be overwhelmingly supported by teachers and school leaders, with over 90% of those surveyed by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) calling for compulsory PSHE and 91% of National Education Union members wanting regular space on the curriculum for the subject. This echoes support for statutory PSHE from 90% of young people and parents alike, and four Commons select committees.

As the report highlights, making PSHE statutory would have a meaningful impact on children and young people’s lives, in return for only a modest impact on workload and timetabling. It is a case of a ‘levelling up’ of standards, rather than an overhaul; a case of clearer expectations for an existing subject rather than introducing something new.

The coalition agrees that this would also be the most efficient and effective way to implement the government’s existing commitments to compulsory relationships and sex education (RSE) in all schools from 2019.

The PSHE Association joins organisations covering the breadth of PSHE education – from health to drugs education, financial education to relationships and sex – in co-authoring and endorsing this report, including:

NSPCC; NAHT; NEU; Sex Education Forum; Young Enterprise; British Heart Foundation, St John Ambulance, British Red Cross (Every Child a Life Saver coalition); Brook; Mentor UK; Economy.