PSHE for all UK schools

Statutory PSHE Education

Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education is the part of the curriculum in which pupils can develop the skills and attributes to stay healthy and safe and prepare for life and work in modern Britain. Yet despite its importance and the evidence of its potential, the subject isn’t statutory, meaning that millions of pupils miss out on the high-quality learning they need and deserve. This is why Mentor is campaigning for statutory PSHE education alongside more than 100 leading organisations.

The case for PSHE

The World Health Organisation reports that 73% of European countries have a legal obligation to include alcohol prevention in the school curriculum and just over half have national guidelines for the prevention and reduction of alcohol-related harm in school settings. By contrast, the new National Curriculum for schools in England doesn’t mention alcohol at all, despite the fact that England comes 9th for early drunkenness according to the most recent Health Behaviours in School-Age Children report. The recent Commons Education Committee inquiry into the subject also recommended that PSHE education be made statutory (see below).

Statutory status is backed by 90% of parents, 90% of young people, 88% of teachers and 85% of business leaders.

PSHE Association

Mentor strongly believes that making PSHE statutory will create motivation and requirement for schools to liaise and engage with parents, strengthening the protective factors that build young people’s resilience to a range of negative risks, including alcohol and drug misuse.

It is vital to get proven alcohol and drug prevention programmes into schools. To this end, Mentor will continue to work with like-minded organisations to campaign for PSHE to be a statutory part of the school curriculum in England.

If you would learn more about this campaign, please click here.

Education Select Committee inquiry on PSHE

On the basis of written evidence submitted in June 2014 to the Education Select Committee inquiry on Personal, Social, Health, and Economic education in schools, Mentor’s Chief Executive Michael O’Toole was invited as a witness, alongside other experts, to provide evidence at the House of Commons debate on 4th November 2014.

Speakers were questioned about the role PSHE education should have in schools and ways it could be effectively assessed to ensure teaching quality. 

There was a strong feeling among all experts that resilience and character development have a major role within PSHE education – resilience intended as a personal reflection on what is going on in life.

Michael O’Toole emphasised that making PSHE statutory will create motivation and requirement for schools to liaise and engage with parents.

Read more about the debate here.