Department of Education PSHE Guidance

Ofsted has identified a strong correlation between schools that achieved a high grade for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) and those that were graded outstanding for overall effectiveness

Children and young people’s health and wellbeing is influenced by a range of physical, mental, social and environmental factors. We know that children with poorer health and wellbeing or who have special educational needs or disability, are more likely to have poorer outcomes in life.

Education and health and wellbeing are closely linked. Pupils with better health and wellbeing are likely to do better at school. The culture, ethos and environment of a school influence the health and wellbeing of pupils and their readiness to learn. Staff wellbeing also plays a crucial role, as part of a whole school approach.

PSHE education is a school subject that helps children and young people achieve their potential by supporting their wellbeing and tackling issues that can affect their ability to learn, such as anxiety and unhealthy relationships. It empowers pupils with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe and to prepare them for life and work in the modern world.

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As of September 2020, the government proposes that all pupils will study compulsory Health Education as well as new reformed Relationships Education in primary school and Relationships and Sex Education in secondary school. The new guidance aims to give pupils the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe. It aims to better equip children and young people to be resilient in today’s world, where issues such as cyber bullying and online safety are increasingly significant. 

The draft guidance provides an overview of what children must learn by the end of primary and secondary school. The focus will be on different types of relationships, how to recognise, understand and build healthy relationships, how relationships may affect health and wellbeing, including mental health, as well as healthy relationships and staying safe online. All of these subjects should be set in the context of a wider whole school approach to support pupils to be safe, happy and prepared for life beyond school.

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