It supports OBRUK’s call for compulsory PSHE as “the first line of defence against abuse of girls and young women”.
MPs will debate the One Billion Rising campaign today. The motion calls for statutory provisions to make personal, social and health education, including a zero tolerance approach to violence and abuse in relationships, a requirement in schools.
“Even if a young person is experiencing aggressive or unbalanced relationships outside the school, inside they should receive a clear message that ‘it doesn't have to be like this,’” the Association said.
“In particular, lessons can be used to provide support for young people experiencing abuse, helping them to believe that what they are experiencing is unacceptable and that it is not their fault; believe they have a right for it to stop and that it can stop; find a language, a strategy and the confidence to initiate the action needed to make it stop.”
A PSHE Association spokesperson said:
“We have long-called for a statutory entitlement to PSHE education for every child and of course support today’s motion.
“We also recognise there are many important steps that must occur to ensure all pupils receive the support they require.
“These include greater emphasis on PSHE education in initial teacher training and in qualification programmes for head teachers and a greater recognition in the Ofsted inspection framework of the critical role PSHE can play in wider school outcomes.”
The Association is also calling for a national quality-assurance programme for providers of PSHE resources and training, acknowledging that current provision is patchy and a national campaign aimed at governors and school leaders to build PSHE into a whole-school approach to improvement and pupil wellbeing.