1decision submission to DfE consultation on Changes to the teaching of Sex & Relationship Education and PSHE

Hayley Sherwood, creator of 1decision, has responded to the Department for Education’s call for evidence on Changes to the teaching of Sex & Relationship Education and PSHE. The consultation closed at 11.45pm on 12th February.

Writing in the call for evidence, Hayley reflected on her experience working as a PSHE facilitator in over 150 primary schools in the UK. On both Relationships and Sex Education  (RSE) and PSHE, she gave her thoughts on the most important subject areas that should be taught to different age groups/key stages in primary and secondary school. She also provided views on safe online relationships, how schools communicate with parents on Relationships Education and RSE and are able to make informed decisions that best meet the needs of their children, and the flexibility for PSHE delivery in meeting the needs of individual pupils and the diversity of local communities and wider society.

The consultation closes as a new National Education Union poll of 560 education staff working in primary and secondary schools in England revealed that 91% feel that PSHE should have a regular slot in school timetables and become an integral part of the school curriculum.

At present, state-funded schools are not required to teach PSHE, although some chose to do so. From September 2019, schools will be required to teach RSE but not PSHE. However, education staff believe PSHE lessons should also be made compulsory, for all school children, and that PSHE lessons are the best place to teach RSE. Ninety-three per cent of education staff said RSE should form part of statutory PSHE.

Ninety-six per cent said that high-quality relationships and sex education can play a role in keeping children safe from harm. Worryingly, only just over a quarter of respondents (29%) feel confident that their school will be ready to deliver the new RSE in September 2019.

“From my experience working with schools, I believe that institutions must be signposted to ‘kitemarked’ resources to help them address these issues,” Hayley said. “However, we also need a top-down commitment to delivering compulsory PSHE as well as RSE. Time is needed in the curriculum for PSHE in the same way it is given for other statutory subjects. RSE must sit in a wider PSHE framework that supports children’s mental and physical health, cultural understanding, safety and ability to thrive throughout their lives.”

You can read Hayley’s full response to the consultation here

If you would like to find out more about the 1decision PSHE programmes, please visit www.1decision.co.uk.

13 February 2018

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