The Children and Social Work Act 2017 created a power to make personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) statutory in future, following consultation.
Last week, MPs debated the status of PSHE and found cross-party support in favour of putting PSHE on a statutory footing. Compulsory PSHE is backed by strong public support; over 120 organisations, including NGA, have also called for changes and the PSHE Association has found statutory PSHE is supported by 85% of business leaders, 88% of teachers, 92% of parents and 92% of pupils.
Arguments in favour of compulsory PSHE included promising evidence of its positive impact on young people’s attainment, as found by an evidence review by Pro Bono Economics, which revealed that the academic performance of the most disadvantaged children is improved by the greatest amount as a result of high quality PSHE.
MPs discussed the range of areas that should be included in PSHE including emergency first aid training, violent crime and weapons awareness, emotional, physical and mental health and online safety. In response to the debate, the minister for School Standards Nick Gibb MP said that “we are aware that there is a huge interest in this matter in all parts of this House… the regulations and guidance will be subject to a full public consultation later this year.” You can read debate in full here.