. PSHE - PSHE Consultant & Teacher - PSHE trends & PSHE news

The Secretary of State for Education confirms the Government’s ambition to support all young
people to stay safe and prepare for life in modern Britain by making Relationships Education
(Primary), Relationships and Sex Education (RSE-Secondary) and, subject to the outcome of a
thorough consideration of the subject, Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE
- both) statutory in all schools.

Relationships and RSE will be age-appropriate, building knowledge and life skills over time in a way that prepares pupils for issues they will so on face.
They will likely focus on:
  • different types of relationships, including friendships, family relationships, dealing with
strangers and, at secondary school, intimate relationships;
  • how to recognise, understand and build healthy relationships, including self-respect and
respect for others, commitment, tolerance, boundaries and consent, and how to manage
conflict, and also how to recognise unhealthy relationships;
  • how relationships may affect health and wellbeing, including mental health;
  • healthy relationships and safety online; and
  • factual knowledge, at secondary school, around sex, sexual health and sexuality, set firmly within the context of relationships.

The Goverment's review work will determine what statutory PSHE could look like in the cont
ext of statutory Relationships and RSE, and will also consider age-appropriate content and guidance.
We would expect this to cover broad pillars of:
  • healthy bodies and lifestyles, including keeping safe, puberty, drugs and alcohol education;
  • healthy minds, including emotional wellbeing, resilience, mental health;
  • economic wellbeing and financial capability;
  • careers education, preparation for the workplace and making a positive contribution to

The work to consider content will begin this spring and we expect that it will result in draft
regulations and guidance for consultation in the autumn of 2017. Following consultation,
regulations will be laid in the House, alongside final draft guidance, allowing for a full and considered debate.
The statutory guidance will be published in early 2018, once the regulations have been passed (and at least one full year before academic year 2019/20).

[Extracted from DfE Policy statement - please see below for the full policy]
On Thursday 27 April the ‘Children and Social Work Bill’ became the ‘Children and Social Work Act’. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2017/16/pdfs/ukpga_20170016_en.pdf

This new act includes legislation that makes ‘relationships education’ in all primary schools statutory and 'relationships and sex education' (RSE) statutory in all secondary schools. The Act also gives the Government power to make PSHE education statutory depending on the results of a consultation.

Last week the Health and Education Select Committees recommended statutory PSHE in their children and young people’s mental health inquiry.

There are clearly concerns that the Government might not honour this post election which is when a consultation on these proposals is due to begin but the need for compulsory PSHE has been ongoing for years and is gaining much support.
"I am today announcing my intention to put Relationships and Sex Education on a statutory footing, so every child has access to age appropriate provision, in a consistent way. I am also announcing my intention to take a power that will enable me to make PSHE statutory in future, following further departmental work and consultation on subject content." Justine Greening 1.3.2017

What does this mean for schools?
"The Government has stated that they want any new obligations to come into force for schools in September 2019. This would include the RSE obligations outlined today along with implementing statutory PSHE education, should that be the decision the DfE arrives at after consultation.

As it stands the legislation would make ‘Relationships and Sex Education’ statutory in all secondary schools, including academies (this name change from ‘SRE’ has the benefit of foregrounding relationships in the subject and avoiding a purely biological approach).

Legislation would also make ‘Relationships Education’ statutory in primary schools and academies. Whilst it is concerning that ‘Relationships Education’ could lead to some confusion for schools we will be making clear the case that this should be delivered as part of a broad and balanced PSHE education programme. Whilst the name change is a cause for concern, we must all help ensure that for children in primary schools and academies ‘Relationships Education’ encompasses a truly comprehensive programme that includes teaching children about their bodies, about safe and unsafe touch, about the physical and emotional changes of puberty.

The likely next steps are for the DfE to consult on updating the statutory guidance on RSE and to consult on PSHE education more widely. We believe this provides a genuine opportunity to put forward, once and for all, the compelling case for the whole of PSHE education with the real possibility of change. If the Government is convinced of the case for the whole of PSHE education in this consultation, then it is a short step to making it statutory in all schools."
[PSHE Association. March. 2017]
Compulsory sex and relationship education looks set to be taught in all secondary schools after Tory MPs - including five former ministers - backed a change to the law, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
The ministers are among a group of 23 Conservative MPs who are backing a law change to force secondary schools to make Relationship Education compulsory in the National Curriculum.
The change would see teenagers being what consent means in sexual relationships and how to protect themselves from sexting and online exploitation in compulsory classes.
Currently only council-controlled secondary schools are required to teach children about sex in biology classes. There is no such requirement on academies or free schools which make up the majority of secondary schools in England.

This Bill started its second reading debate on Friday 20 January 2017 but has now been adjourned with debate to resume on Friday 24 March 2017.
This Bill was presented to Parliament on Monday 4 July 2016. This is known as the first reading and there was no debate on the Bill at this stage.

Education secretary Justine Greening is looking to make sex and relationships education (SRE) compulsory in all schools
Pupils would be taught about pornography and sexting in all schools under new plans being drawn up by the government.
The proposals could be included in amendments to the Children and Social Work Bill, which is currently before parliament.
The chairs of five different Commons select committees recently called on education secretary Justine Greening to make SRE a statutory subject.
Their demand came after a report from the Women and Equalities Committee found that sexual bullying is now endemic in schools.
Currently free schools and academies do not have to teach sex education or personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education. Parents can withdraw their children from sex education classes.
A government source told the Sunday Times: “Justine is clear that this is something that has to be looked at. It is not just a question of making it mandatory but also of what we should be teaching, including issues such as sexting and domestic violence.”
It is understood that it is now a priority area for Ms Greening and proposals have been drawn up.
A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “High-quality education on sex and relationships is a vital part of preparing young people for success in adult life - helping them make informed choices, stay safe and learn to respect themselves and others... we are actively looking at options to ensure that all children have access to high-quality teaching of these subjects.” [TES. Eleanor Busby, 18th December 2016]
This Bill is expected to have its second reading debate on Friday 20 January 2017.

This Bill was presented to Parliament on Monday 4 July 2016. This is known as the first reading and there was no debate on the Bill at this stage.

This Bill is a Private Member’s Bill. These are often not printed until close to the second reading debate. If the text is not yet available here and you wish to know more about this bill please contact its sponsor, Caroline Lucas.

This Bill is expected to have its second reading debate on Friday 22 April 2016.

Background: Bill to require the Secretary of State to provide that Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) be a statutory requirement for all state-funded schools; for PSHE to include Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) and education on ending violence against women and girls; to provide for initial and continuing teacher education and guidance on best practice for delivering and inspecting PSHE and SRE education; and for connected purposes.

Below, hot off the press is a letter from the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP to Neil Carmichael MP & Chair of the Education Select Committee regarding the issues of making PSHE a statutory subject.

Unfortunately it does not appear to show any steps forward to make PSHE statutory although this is still remaining open for review.

On a more positive note however the letter does uphold the importance of PSHE and says that teaching needs to be improved in many schools and that 'over the next few months they (a group of leading headteachers and practitioners) will produce an action plan and recommendations for improving PSHE..."


The case for statutory PSHE education is growing in strength. Below are some powerful statistics to support the call for the Government to reconsider PSHE and it's status in the curriculum.

Statutory status for PSHE education has the support of:
  • 90% of parents and leading parenting bodies like Mumsnet and the National Governors Association
  • 92% of pupils and has been a campaign priority for the UK Youth Parliament four years running
  • 88% of teachers as well as five leading teaching and education unions, including the NUT and NAHT
  • 85% of business leaders support statutory PSHE education according to a YouGov survey
  • 100 leading organisations including six royal medical colleges, the NSPCC and the British Red Cross
  • Parliamentarians across the political spectrum including the Commons Education Committee
and Home Affairs Committee, the Chair of the Health Committee and a range of former Ministers. [PSHE Association. October 2015]