Update, 22 March: The BHA have now seen the PSHE Association’s statement on the outcome of the review, which says that the funding going to them will, in actuality, be ‘significantly reduced’ from what was previously being received. The BHA did not previously understand this to be the case, and is disappointed that this funding is being cut.
The Government has today published the outcomes of its Review of Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education. The conclusion of the review is that almost nothing will change, with no new guidance or programmes of study on PSHE or Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) to be published. The British Humanist Association (BHA) has expressed disappointment at the decision, after the apparent cross-party consensus in 2010 to make PSHE a statutory part of the national curriculum.
One positive announcement made today is that the DfE ‘will provide grant funding to the PSHE Association to work with schools to advise them in developing their own PSHE curricula and improve the quality of teaching. The Association will focus on signposting schools to high quality resources and in expanding their Chartered Teacher of PSHE programme. We have also asked the Association to promote the teaching of consent as part of SRE, in line with the statutory guidance for that subject.’ The DfE also plan to establish ‘a new evidence-based information service’ on drug and alcohol education.
The BHA responded to the PSHE Review in November 2011. Today BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented, ‘We welcome the announcement that the PSHE Association will be funded to work with schools to improve their PSHE and we believe this will have a significant positive impact on the education many young people receive.
‘Overall we are disappointed with today’s announcement. In 2010 there was cross-party consensus in support of proposals to make PSHE a statutory entitlement for all young people as part of the national curriculum, which were only dropped because they were not passed before the general election. Three years and one lengthy review later, it is disappointing that nothing is to change after all.
‘Young people need full and comprehensive information around sex, relationships and other matters in PSHE, as all the evidence shows that this improves outcomes in relation to STIs and reducing unwanted pregnancies, and ensures that they have healthier, happier, consensual relationships.’
For further comment or information contact BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson on 07534 248596 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Read Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education Elizabeth Truss’s written ministerial statement on PSHE: http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-vote-office/March-2013/21-3-13/3.EDUCATION-Review-personal-social-health-and-economic-education.pdf
Read the outcomes and summary report on the PSHE Review: http://www.education.gov.uk/b00223087/pshe
Read the BHA’s response to the PSHE Review: http://humanism.org.uk/2011/11/30/news-136-24/
Read more about the BHA’s campaigns work on PSHE and Sex and Relationships Education: http://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/schools-and-education/school-curriculum/pshe-and-sex-and-relationships-education/
The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief. The BHA contributes to debate on a wide range of ethical issues from stem cell research to sex education. The BHA is a member of the National Children’s Bureau Sex Education Forum (SEF) and the Children’s Rights Alliance for England.