All teachers – including those in training - should understand the current statutory duty on schools to promote wellbeing and their own role in doing so. They should receive information explaining that PSHE education is the principal way in which health and wellbeing is promoted and delivered in schools. Training schools should be aware of how PSHE education in schools contributes to the behaviour and safety of pupils as set out in the Teachers’ Standards (2011) and factored into the new Ofsted Inspection Framework (2011).
Public, private and voluntary sector expertise is valuable in supporting and enhancing aspects of PSHE education. Such support should be used as part of PSHE education provision taught by fully qualified, experienced, well trained, confident and competent teachers. John Lloyd, Policy Adviser (PSHE Association)
The new school curriculum in England (September 2013)
Every state funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based and which:
- promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
- All schools should make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), drawing on good practice.
- Schools are also free to include other subjects or topics of their choice in planning and designing their own programme of education.
The latest Ofsted report on PSHE provision in schools includes these key findings (May 2013)
“Learning in PSHE education required improvement or was inadequate in 40% of schools. The quality of PSHE education is not yet good enough in a sizeable proportion of schools in England.” - Source: Ofsted
Ofsted Report Key findings in PSHE
- Lack of high-quality, age-appropriate sex and relationships education in more than a third of schools is a concern as it may
leave children and young people vulnerable to inappropriate sexual behaviours and sexual exploitation.
- Most pupils understood the dangers to health of tobacco and illegal drugs but were less aware of the physical and social
damage associated with alcohol misuse, including personal safety.
- Approximately one third of respondents to the online survey wanted to learn how to deal with mental health issues such as coping with stress, bereavement and eating disorders.
- Teaching required improvement in 42% of primary and 38% of secondary schools. Too many teachers lacked expertise in teaching sensitive and controversial issues, which resulted in some topics such as sexuality, mental health and domestic
violence being omitted from the curriculum. This was because subject-specific training and support were too often inadequate. In 20% of schools, staff had received little or no training to teach PSHE education. Teaching was not good in any of these schools.
- By far the weakest aspect of teaching was the assessment of pupils’ learning which was often less robust for PSHE education than for other subjects.
- In a third of primary and secondary schools the subject leader was inadequately trained for a leadership role and given too
little time to meet with their team. In half of primary and two thirds of secondary schools the monitoring and evaluation of
the quality of teaching and learning were deficient.
School's now have a duty to publish details of their PSHE curriculum (January, 2014)
In January 2014, the Department for Education updated its timeline of mandatory information for schools. Alongside existing guidelines on information schools must publish on their website (as outlined in Schedule 4 of the School Information (England) Regulations 2012) there is now a requirement for schools to publish details of their PSHE education curriculum. Additionally, the Department continues to require schools to publish their sex and relationships education policy (see the Sex Education Forum’s briefing for further details on statutory responsibilities relating to sex and relationships education). [PSHE Association]