General

What is the current status of PSHE education? A quick guide

All schools are currently expected to provide PSHE education on the curriculum and this expectation will be strengthened from 2020 when the health education and relationships education (primary) / relationships and sex education (secondary) aspects become compulsory in all schools.

PSHE education is currently a non-statutory subject on the school curriculum in maintained schools and academies, though section 2.5 of the national curriculum states that all state schools ‘should make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), drawing on good practice’. The Department for Education (DfE) consider PSHE education ‘an important and necessary part of all pupils’education and the vast majority of schools have some kind of PSHE provision. PSHE education is compulsory in independent schools.

From September 2020, the majority of PSHE education will be compulsory in all schools.

This change in status results from government amendments to the 2017 Children and Social Work Act, which committed to compulsory ‘relationships education’ in all primary schools and ‘relationships and sex education (RSE)’ in all secondary schools, and consideration of the status of broader PSHE in order to improve consistency of provision across all schools.

What are the new statutory changes to take effect from 2020?

Schools MUST enhance their PSHE provision to include all the new statutory changes from September 2020 although schools are being encouraged to implement these changes from September 2019.

Relationships Education must focus on the following areas:

  • Families and people who care for me
  • Caring friendships
  • Respectful relationships
  • On-line relationships
  • Being safe

Health Education (physical and mental) must focus on the following areas:

  • Mental well-being
  • Internet safety and harms
  • Physical health and fitness
  • Healthy eating
  • Drugs, alcohol and tobacco
  • Health and prevention
  • Basic First Aid
  • Changing adolescent body 

Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) must focus on the following areas:

  • Families
  • Respectful relationships, including friendships
  • On-line and media
  • Being safe
  • Intimate and sexual relationships, including sexual health