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New PSHE guidance is welcome step towards broad provision

Government guidance on sex, relationships and health education, which has just been published, will become statutory across England in September 2020. Mike Randall, our Head of Curriculum Development, reflects on what this means for young people and how ASDAN will support schools to meet the requirements.

While early adopter schools will start delivering the new guidance from September 2019, many other centres will take the opportunity to review their PSHE provision to ensure that they are prepared for September 2020. The guidance is an important and much welcomed step in government thinking – it will help ensure that all young people receive relevant information about important aspects of their life and personal development.

Learning to live in a digital world

If young people are to go on to engage fully and successfully in modern adult society, they must be equipped with a good understanding of how to build strong and safe relationships. With the increased influence of digital media on our lives, the way we interact with each other has changed significantly. The digital world has had a massive impact on how we form and maintain relationships and has also given us an unprecedented ability to share information and images. Our young people must understand how to live their lives safely and respectfully within this new digital era.

Improving physical and mental health

While media coverage on this legislation has focused on the sex and relationships side of the guidance, we must not forget that it also includes important aspects around physical and mental health. We are becoming increasingly aware of the prevalence of poor mental health among young people and the impact on physical health that unhealthy lifestyles are having. It is reassuring that this new guidance includes requirements to ensure students learn how to live healthy and happy lives.

PSHE provision is a challenge for many schools

Many secondary schools deliver high quality PSHE and will meet many of the requirements of the new guidance already. However, the discreet teaching of some sort of personal development in a lot of secondary schools has become increasingly squeezed by the demands put on school curriculums to achieve higher academic standards. There has been a recognition nationally of this issue, as reflected in the new Ofsted education inspection framework, which comes into force in September 2019. The framework makes a welcome shift towards ensuring there is broad and balanced education provision for children and includes a specific judgement on personal development.

Helping centres provide high quality PSHE

The new guidance on sex, relationships and health education is a welcome step for our education system that has for too long had its focus fixed firmly on academic outcomes. Understandably, schools will need support in ensuring there is the appropriate provision in place. This is why ASDAN has redeveloped its popular PSHE Short Course to ensure that it meets all the requirements of new legislation. It can be used flexibly by secondary schools to deliver successful Key Stage 4 PSHE provision, either through dedicated lessons or via shorter tutor time sessions. What’s more, we have produced a tutor resource pack that enables the delivery of high quality PSHE lessons by non-specialist teachers, which is the reality of PSHE delivery in most secondary schools.

Order PSHE Short Course online

Copies of the student book can now be pre-ordered through the members area and will be available for delivery to centres from 1 August. The tutor resources pack will be available for purchase from the members area in September. 

More information

You can download a free sample copy of the PSHE Short Course student book to learn more about this engaging and comprehensive curriculum.