Government response on SRE and PSHE
The Government has published their response to the Education Select Committee recommendations on SRE and PSHE (16 July 2015). Their response committs to further improvement to PSHE and SRE, saying 'We want all schools to put high quality PSHE at the heart of their curriculum' and does not discard the recommendation that the subject be made statutory.
The Government response concludes: 'We want to make significant progress on this issue this parliament, and will consider in full the arguments put forward by the Select Committee as part of this work before reporting back later this year.'
In her forward, Nicky Morgan says: 'High quality PSHE and age-appropriate SRE teaching are also essential to keeping pupils safe and healthy, inside and outside the school gates. Young people today face unprecedented pressures posed by modern technology. Good quality PSHE can provide them with the information they need to stay safe and build resilience against the risks of exploitation or radicalisation'.
The further delay in responding to the recommendation that SRE and PSHE be made statutory is disappointing. Aside from this, it is important to use the tools we have to improve SRE provision, including the new Ofsted framework and handbook. A summary of themes from the Government response is provided below.
Themes from Government response & resource links
On training: agrees with need for competent teachers - emphasis is on schools to source training 'We are giving control to schools to decide how best to recruit trainees and provide high quality training to meet their needs - including the teaching of their PSHE curriculum. Schools can work with a range of partners, including teaching schools.
On parents: agrees with need for regular consultation and involvement as per existing provisions
Schools are reminded that the need to consult parents is covered by the government SRE guidance and that schools must publish their school curriculum on their website by subject and academic year, including the provision of PSHE and SRE.
- Take a look at 'Let's work together' - our practical guide for schools to involve parents in SRE - 20% discount for members.
On inpection: refers to new judgement on personal development, behaviour and welfare. 'Inspections will continue to examine pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, and there will be a new judgement on pupils' personal development, behaviour and welfare. Inspectors will expect pupils to be able to explain accurately and confidently how to keep themselves healthy and safe in different situations; to make informed choices about matters concerning their well-being; and to have an age-appropriate understanding of healthy relationships and how to stay safe from abuse and exploitation'.
- Our free curriculum design tool will help you check that your SRE programme is sufficiently comprehensive to support young people to keep themselves healthy and stay safe. See also our collection of e-magazines on themes including consent, LGBT issues and HIV.
Key links and resources
- New inspection handbook which applies from September 2015 and includes grade descriptors for the new judgments.
- The Government response and Education Select Committee reaction is available from the Parliament website
- Government SRE guidance (2000) which schools must have due regard to.
- Sex Education Forum SRE policy guidance- it's simple to access here.
- For regular SRE bulletins and free access to all our e-magazines become a network+ member for just £99+VAT (=£118.80) for 3 years.