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19 June 2012
PSHE Association welcomes support for PSHE education in Lords wellbeing debate.
The PSHE Association welcomes the debate held in the House of Lords on June 14th on Schools: Well-being and Personal and Social Needs. Moved by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch, we particularly welcome the important contributions of Baronesses Doreen Massey and Joan Walmsley in support of PSHE education, the PSHE Association and the need to make Personal, Social, Health and Economic education an entitlement for all pupils in schools.
Sarah Smart, PSHE Association CEO said that ‘The PSHE Association has been pleased to regularly provide Parliamentarians with up to date briefings and information about PSHE education and to contribute advice about the research, the curriculum and its evaluation to inform debates such as these. We are very pleased that Baroness Massey drew attention to the PSHE Association’s School Charter and Chartered Teacher programmes which are already beginning to make their mark on PSHE provision in schools’.
Baroness Massey highlighted that: ‘Research and observation by teachers has long shown that if a child lacks emotional and social strength and does not have protective factors with which to encourage good physical and emotional health, and to resist negative influences, then he or she will perform less well at school’.
‘Parents and families are vital in providing the foundations for well-being. Sadly, some families do not do that. Some children enter our schools deprived materially, socially and academically and schools have a hard job to make up that deficit. To their credit, many do’
She added: ‘Many schools see the sense of good quality PSHE education and are involved in the PSHE Association's School Charter programme, which draws on effective practice of PSHE as described in Ofsted reports and evidence from schools.’
She went on to say that ‘there is too much emphasis on topics and factual information and not enough on whole school processes which foster the well-being of children’ and that even ‘highly academic schools, such as Eton or Rugby, recognise that there is more to being successful than learning by rote.’
Baroness Walmsley was equally supportive, saying that her enthusiasm for PSHE education is undiminished, and that: ‘There is a duty to deliver this information and the opportunity to develop skills in these areas, to every child’.
‘This should be done by high-quality specialists who are trained to do the job. Only then will we avoid the current postcode lottery in the quality of provision, and raise the standard overall. I have never felt that we should prescribe how schools should do this, preferring to leave it to their professional judgment. Every child should be entitled to have it delivered to a high standard.’
She added: ‘it is important that the government should make it clear that they expect schools to do this and that they will measure success not just on the number of A to C grades at GCSE but on the way in which schools foster well-being.’
The PSHE Association is committed to supporting the provision of high quality PSHE education in schools. We advocate that PSHE education should be a statutory entitlement for all children and young people.