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Personal Social and Health Education

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 14 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his policy is on the criteria to be used by school governors to determine whether the teaching of personal, social, health and economic education under the provisions proposed in the Children, Schools and Families Bill reflects a reasonable range of religious, cultural and other perspectives. (309683)

The legislation will introduce a set of guiding principles that govern the way in which the PSHE as a subject should be delivered. Schools Governors will be under a duty to ensure these principles act as safeguards against inappropriate teaching.

There is a wide range of perspectives on the teaching of PSHE but we believe that schools should have flexibility to tailor their approach to reflect: the ethos of the school; the views of parents and pupils; and the needs of individual and diverse nature of local communities, subject to covering the content prescribed in the statutory programmes of study.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what inspection criteria would be applied to the teaching of personal, social, health and economic education under the provisions proposed in the Children, Schools and Families Bill. (309711)

We are not proposing any changes in the Children, Schools and Families Bill to the current arrangements for inspecting PSHE when it becomes statutory in September 2011, as this subject is already covered along with other subjects within Ofstedā€™s existing statutory inspection framework.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether he consulted governors of faith schools on the provisions proposed in the Children, Schools and Families Bill in relation to teaching of the personal, social, health and economic education curriculum at Key Stages 3 and 4 in advance of the introduction of that Bill. (309713)

In coming to the decision to make PSHE a statutory part of the curriculum we have taken into consideration a broad range of views from our stakeholders and this included Governors of faith schools.

The work that QCDA did throughout the consultation collated views from Governors based on-line surveys as well as through focus groups and mini-conferences.

In their responses Governors recognise that good quality PSHE, taught in a sensitive and appropriate way and with the proper safeguards in place (in line with the ethos and faith of the school) is vital in promoting the health and wellbeing of young people as they prepare to tackle the challenges of adult life.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether he plans to issue guidance to the governors of faith schools on the teaching of the personal, social, health and economic education curriculum at Key Stages 3 and 4 under the provisions proposed in the Children, Schools and Families Bill. (309714)

There is a provision within the Children, Schools and Families Bill that will allow the Secretary of State to issue any guidance by Order as part of statutory PSHE in September 2011.

Governors in faith schools currently have a statutory responsibility to take account of existing and revised guidance in particularly that relating to the provision of sex and relationship education.