An opportunity to improve PSHE education in all schools, for all pupils
The Department for Education has announced a consultation on potentially making Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) statutory in both Primary and Secondary schools. We know there are a large number of schools already delivering effective PSHE but delivery is not consistent across schools since the subject is not yet mandatory. We believe that this is a fantastic opportunity to ensure all young people have the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to make healthy choices, develop positive relationships, prepare for the world of work and learn how to manage their money.
We believe the whole of PSHE should be made statutory, by separating individual components of the subject we would lose the preventative benefits provided by a holistic PSHE. Young people, and adults, do not face problems in isolation – for example regarding the ‘E’ for ‘Economic’ aspects of PSHE, financial worries could be related to mental health problems, problems with drugs and alcohol, negative or abusive relationships.
At Young Money we have already developed Financial Planning Frameworks, awarded the Financial Education Quality Mark to a range of financial education resources and we offer free guidance to anyone teaching financial education. Young Enterprise is also in the process of drawing up clear learning outcomes for enterprise education and we deliver direct in schools through a range of programmes. We will continue to support teachers delivering PSHE should the subject be made statutory.
The consultation is open to parents and carers, school and college staff, any young person and indeed anyone else interested in PSHE. We need to ensure the Department for Education hears from as many people as possible who believe in PSHE and the importance of teaching the ‘E’ for economic. The Online Survey is open until the 12th February – if you agree PSHE is important for pupils to be healthy, safe and prepared for adult life please complete the survey and make your voice heard.
Questions five, six and seven of the consultation all relate to PSHE. If you’re planning to complete the survey please do include your own thoughts and examples if you can. Our thoughts on these questions, which we hope you’ll find useful, can be found below. It would be extremely helpful if, in your response, you could highlight enterprise and financial education as an essential component of PSHE:
- Thinking about PSHE in primary schools, what do you believe are the three most important subject areas that should be taught and why? Please include your reasons for choosing each subject area or evidence to support your suggestions.
We believe by separating out the different components of PSHE you would lose the interconnectivity benefits from each area reinforcing and supporting other areas.
Regarding the ‘E’ for economic, which is Young Enterprise’s area of specialisation, we believe primary school students should start to develop key employability skills, knowledge and confidence they need to earn and manage their money now, and in the future. Specific financial education learning outcomes can be found in our Financial Education Planning Framework: 3- 11 years and learning outcomes for enterprise education should be based on Young Enterprise’s eight key employability competencies. Learning outcomes could include learning how to recognise coins, starting to work in teams and understanding what borrowing is and what might be the consequences of borrowing.
- Thinking about PSHE in secondary schools, what do you believe are the three most important subject areas that should be taught and why? Please also include your reasons for choosing each subject or evidence to support your suggestions.
As with in Primary schools we believe PSHE should be delivered as a whole. The outcomes for PSHE should be based on learning a solid base of knowledge, developing the skills to apply this knowledge and beginning to form appropriate attitudes.
Regarding the ‘E’ for economic, secondary school specific learning outcomes can be found in our Financial Education Planning Framework: 11- 19 years and, for enterprise education, learning outcomes can be found in our Career Building Framework Guide. Learning outcomes could include being able to communicate ideas appropriately, knowing how to prepare a budget and how to adapt this when circumstances change and being able to persist when facing setbacks.
- How much flexibility do you think schools should have to meet the needs of individual pupils and to reflect the diversity of local communities and wider society in the content of PSHE lessons in schools?
Although the subjects taught in PSHE, including financial and enterprise education, apply to everybody – everyone will need to earn and manage their money during their lifetime – schools should have the flexibility to adapt to the needs of their students.
Different regions face different skills gaps, challenges and opportunities. Some areas, for example, have more problems with loan sharks whilst others may have fewer opportunities to engage with employers. There should also be sufficient funding for support and resources and a strategy for teacher training and CPD to ensure teachers have the support to deliver effective and relevant PSHE.