‘Call for evidence’ on PSHE and RSE:

The Government seeks feedback from you and your students

The Department for Education has today launched a call for evidence as part of its consultation on PSHE education, including RSE. The aim is to inform the DfE’s next steps regarding PSHE education, including relationships education and relationships & sex education (RSE). This is a great opportunity to make the case for statutory PSHE, and RSE’s role within it, and the PSHE Association strongly urge you to contribute by the 12 February deadline.

The DfE is also very keen to get young people’s input, so the PSHE Association has created free resources for those of you teaching KS3 & 4 to run a feedback-gathering session in the new year with your students. 

This consultation follows Government commitments in this year’s Children and Social Work Act to make RSE statutory in all secondary schools from 2019,  make ‘relationships education’ statutory in all primaries, and to consider statutory status for PSHE education in its entirety, pending consultation. This provides a real chance to improve PSHE for all, and with your help will to make sure these proposals meet their considerable potential.

Evidence and support for PSHE education continues to grow, as you’ll see from the just-updated PSHE Association ‘Curriculum for Life’ report.

Your feedback
The PSHE Association’s 5 priorities for statutory PSHE education are that it should be taught:

  • regularly – regular lessons on the timetable like other subjects
  • as a whole subject – from sex & relationships to mental health, online safety to employability skills
  • by trained teachers – PSHE covered in teacher training and ongoing opportunities to learn
  • in all schools – all schools including academies and free schools
  • to all pupils – from year 1 to finishing secondary school

The ‘whole subject’ point is crucial, as the PSHE Association and other leading bodies in the sector – including the Sex Education Forum, NSPCC and NAHT – are adamant that to be effective RSE must remain within the context of broader PSHE education, and that PSHE must be statutory in its entirety.

This is for reasons of quality (RSE will suffer if not taught within a broader PSHE programme; and crucial aspects of PSHE, from mental health to economic wellbeing would effectively be demoted) and implementation (it would put schools under logistical and resource burdens to have separate subjects rather than a unified PSHE programme, and could lead to less effective delivery models).

Though the question is not explicitly asked in the call for evidence questionnaire, the PSHE Association encourage you to make the case for statutory PSHE education in your responses where appropriate, with these priorities in mind.

Read more about the consultation and submit your evidence

Your students’ feedback
The DfE are very keen to get young people’s views as part of the consultation as they will be the ultimate beneficiaries of positive changes to this area of the curriculum.

To support this, the PSHE Association have launched a free KS3 & 4 lesson plan to help you run a short session which gathers young people’s priorities for PSHE education and RSE.

The lesson plan includes activities to support your session and is designed to be used flexibly within the time frame that teachers have to deliver their PSHE lessons.

Download your free student feedback session materials