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Domestic Violence: Curriculum

Volume 479: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families on the treatment of domestic violence issues within the curriculum. (218820)

The Home Affairs Committee Report into Domestic Violence, Forced Marriage and “Honour”-Based Violence published in June this year made recommendations on the treatment of domestic violence issues within the curriculum. The Home Office and DCSF have been working together on the Government’s response to the report.

The curriculum already provides scope for the exploration of issues relating to domestic violence principally, although not exclusively, within personal, social and health education (PSHE), which includes sex and relationship education (SRE). It is important that we focus efforts on raising the overall standard of teaching in PSHE and SRE, where issues to do with healthy relationships, managing conflict and aggression would be addressed, and alerting schools to ways in which domestic violence can be used as context for exploring key concepts within the PSHE curriculum. To raise the standard of teaching we are already training teachers on PSHE, rolling out the Healthy Schools Programme and providing advice and guidance through bodies such as the QCA and PSHE Association.

We are also currently conducting two parallel reviews on how to improve the teaching of sex and relationships education and drug education within the context of PSHE. We will give careful consideration to all of the recommendations from the reviews when they report later this summer.