- National Union of Teachers General Secretary: “The NUT is right behind this important campaign”
- Brighton school head: “Delighted that our MP has launched a Bill that reflects the work we have done”
Caroline will tomorrow call for PSHE to be made statutory in all state funded schools.
Her Bill to make Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) a statutory requirement has attracted strong cross-party support, and is due its Second Reading tomorrow in Parliament.
It has also gained widespread public support, sparking an online ‘back the #PSHEBill’ campaign.
Everyday Sexism, Mumsnet and Guideguiding have consistently backed compulsory and comprehensive Sex Education. And now support for the PSHE Bill has come from a wide variety of organisations, including End Violence Against Women, NUT and NAHT, Stonewall and the Royal College of Nurses.
Caroline said: “Lessons which help keep young people safe, healthy and happy and aid employability shouldn’t be an optional ‘bolt on’ – they’re critical, as is provision of proper support for the teachers leading them. Where good PSHE teaching happens, the benefits shine through - and I see that in schools like Patcham High in my Brighton constituency*.
“The importance of ensuring every child has access to good quality, age-appropriate education around sex, health and relationships – as well as teaching on everything from life-saving CPR to how to be responsible with money – can barely be understated. Policymakers must listen to teachers and benefit from their insight into what works in our schools. As long as PSHE remains a non-statutory and non-examined subject, with a low priority in the Ofsted framework, there’ll be virtually no coverage of it in teacher training. In school, PSHE teachers are not given the curriculum time or training that they need - Statutory status is key.”
She was “encouraged”, she said, by the increased political consensus on the issue, saying it represented “a huge stride forwards”.
She added: “The support for this has been fantastic. We have an unprecedented cross-party opportunity to make a crucial difference to the education of our children. This has got us talking, tweeting and working together. We must continue to build on that momentum.”
Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers said: “The NUT is right behind this important campaign. All children and young people in state funded schools deserve an entitlement to Personal, Social, Health and Economic education, including Sex and Relationships Education. Comprehensive Sex and Relationships Education is fundamental to the future health and well-being of pupils and our society as a whole. We need to get this right and act decisively if we are to deliver an adequate entitlement to all children and young people”.
“Making PSHE statutory is the key to raising its status and improving provision. At present PSHE has too little time in the curriculum, and is almost always accorded very low status and few resources in schools. It is high time for Ministers to provide schools with the space and the resources to give all pupils the high quality PSHE they need including sufficient funding for training and specialist staff being made available to schools”.
Paula Sargent, Head Teacher at Patcham High School, Brighton, said: “We have transformed PSHE teaching at Patcham High over the last seven years. We have a dedicated team, significant time on the timetable, and the very toughest subjects are sensitively discussed with pupils helping them to be informed young adults. We are passionate about the connection between happy, healthy students and academic achievement. We are therefore delighted that our MP has launched a Bill in Parliament that reflects the work we have done and seeks to ensure every child has an entitlement to good quality PSHE and SRE.”
- Caroline has created a briefing paper which constituents can forward to MPs, asking them to pledge their support for the principle ahead of next year’s General Election.
- You can view quotes from national and Brighton-based organisations, by clicking here.
- YouGov and the PSHE Association have found that 90% of parents believe schools should teach children about mental health and emotional well-being.
- The NAHT has found that 88% of parents of school-aged pupils want age-appropriate SRE to be taught in schools.