COMMONS

PSHE statutory status letter to Secretary of State published

27 November 2015

The Education Committee has published a letter from Neil Carmichael, Chair of the Education Committee, to the Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, on the issue of statutory status for PSHE.

Chair's comment

Neil Carmichael, Chair of the Education Committee, said:

"The previous Education Committee, of which I was a member, found the Government's strategy for improving PSHE in schools is weak and highlighted that PSHE requires improvement in 40% of schools. The Committee recommended introducing statutory status for PSHE, a move which could have a significant impact in helping to keep our children healthy and safe. I urge the Secretary of State to report back to my Committee and respond to the call for statutory PSHE and outline her strategy for improving the quality of teaching in these areas.

The Children's Commissioner's report this week on 'Protecting children from harm' reminds us all of the importance of good, age appropriate relationships & sex education. As a Committee, we look forward to questioning the Children's Commissioner on these and other issues during our evidence session scheduled for the New Year."

Background 

In February, Education Committee published a report "Life lessons: PHSE and SRE in schools" which recommended that the Department for Education should "develop a workplan for introducing age-appropriate PSHE and RSE as statutory subjects in primary and secondary schools, setting out its strategy for improving the supply of teachers able to deliver this subject and a timetable for achieving this".

The Government's response dismissed or ignored many of the Committee's recommendations. In the context of statutory status, it promised that the Department would "consider in full the arguments put forward by the Select Committee" before "reporting back later this year".

Further information

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