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Personal Social and Health Education

Volume 507: debated on Monday 8 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what plans he has to provide specialist teacher training to (a) teachers and (b) trainee teachers to deliver sex and relationships education within the personal, health, social and economic curriculum; (312702)

(2) how many teachers he expects to be trained to teach sex and relationships education under the personal, social, health and economic education provisions proposed in the Children, Schools and Families Bill.

The majority of schools have been teaching personal, social, health and economic education (PSHEE)—which includes sex and relationships education (SRE)—as a non-statutory subject for many years, through a mix of specialist PSHEE teachers, as well as form tutors.

In general, budgets for teachers' continuing professional development (CPD) are devolved to individual schools and no central records are kept on how much of this money is spent on CPD for individual subjects. However, in recognition of the sensitive and varied topics covered in PSHEE, additional central funding for a national CPD programme has been available to schools for a number of years. This has resulted in around 8,000 teachers having been trained and a further 1,800 are currently in training this year.

When PSHEE becomes compulsory in the national curriculum from September 2011, we would expect most of the teaching to continue to come from existing teachers who will receive supplementary training, either through the national programme identified above, or from locally sourced training paid for from schools' local budgets.

However, in recognition that PSHEE will be compulsory from September 2011, we are working with the Training and Development Agency for schools (TDA), to develop a route through initial teacher training (ITT) to become a specialist PSHEE teacher. From September 2010, we anticipate that 200 trainee teachers a year will be trained to deliver PSHEE as an enhancement to their main subject area.

To enhance PSHEE coverage in all ITT, we are changing the guidance so that providers of ITT will need to ensure that all of their trainees are familiar with the National Curriculum guidance on PSHEE that is relevant to the age ranges they will teach.