Michael Mercieca responds to the Government's rejection of the proposal
The Government has announced that it will not be making PSHE statutory, stating that making it compulsory would do little to ensure high quality delivery of the subject.
Michael Mercieca, Young Enterprise chief executive, has responded below:
“We regret that the Government has not taken this opportunity to provide statutory status for PSHE education, which Young Enterprise – along with the vast majority of teachers, parents, students and businesses – believes can play a crucial role in preparing young people for life in modern Britain.
The British Chamber of Commerce has repeatedly cited that young people are not work-ready, but this will never improve unless all young people are offered the same opportunities to develop work-essential competences – such as teamwork, resilience and confidence – that statutory PSHE, with a strong economic strand, can provide.
As the Secretary of State outlines in her letter, the vast majority of schools already make provision for PSHE, therefore granting statutory status for the subject would not represent a significant additional burden on schools. It would, however, offer a clear signal that it is just as important an area of learning as other subjects. By providing a mandate to monitor its provision in schools across the country, statutory status can also act as a spur to improvements in the quality of its teaching.
In light of this decision, we need to help fill in the gaps missed by the current curriculum to ensure each child develops the right skills for the world of work.
Crucially, this involves ensuring that teachers – through engaging professional development – have the confidence to teach PSHE well and can embed the development of character skills within, and across, schools. We believe that this represents the best way to help young people make a successful transition from school to the workplace.”