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The battle for PSHE [Personal, Social and Health Education]

(2 Posts)
JohnPSHE Thu 11-Oct-12 10:31:08

Hi Hilary,

I just stumbled across your post when doing a Google search. As you can tell from my username I'm not a mum (!), but am a parent and also work with the PSHE Association - the subject association for PSHE teachers. We work to raise the quality and profile of PSHE nationally, so obviously we see the subject as being vital to young people's ability to negotiate life's challenges.

We have worked with Mumsnet in the past on guides for parents on PSHE and various topics that fall within it: www.pshe-association.org.uk/resources_search_details.aspx?ResourceId=461

With regards to sex and relationships education (SRE), there is a lot of misinformation about what is covered in schools. We advocate a carefully planned, progressive programme of SRE which gradually and appropriately prepares children and young people for adult life. The SRE guide is available from above link and helps explain to parents what is covered at primary level.

We also wish to stress how important a broader education is to young people's employability and ability to 'get on' in life. We've written recently about how although a core academic education (as covered by the new EBacc) is important, it alone won't prepare young people for the 21st century living and employment: www.pshe-association.org.uk/resources_search_details.aspx?ResourceId=461

Often it's the so called 'soft skills' acquired through social and emotional learning that helps young people most in interviews and the workplace. This learning also helps prepare them to cope with the all-too-common rejection involved in a difficult job market.

So, it's an important debate – one which we appreciate you raising, and one which we’d like parents to play a big part in

John (PSHE Association)

HilaryBurrage Tue 02-Oct-12 15:23:29

We all know that children need good information (and support) when they learn about how their own bodies work, and how their social context will grow as they mature.

But what, and when, should they do the learning?

I was involved way back when the debate started in the 1980s - it was hard! - and I'm still interested and writing about all this.

I'd always advocate health (and sex) education, in time but not before time. I'd also want to emphasise from early on that all children have sovereignty over their own bodies and futures.

But now I'd add to all that they need to understand about IT (and web-safety, also from very early on), how to take care of financial things (when they get a bit older) and what a wage slip tells you, why the environment is so important (without scaring them silly), how to communicate and collaborate effectively and a lot of other things.

What would others include (or not)? I shall carry on writing about all this in my professional life (HilaryBurrage), but it would be very good to know what other parents and grandparents think as well.

Thanks for sharing your ideas and explaining your own perspectives. I'll try to do the same.

Hilary

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