Renewed calls to make PSHE a statutory subject in schools

The chairs of five Parliamentary Select Committees have written to the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening to call for Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PHSE) and Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) to be made a statutory subject in schools.

The letter is co-sign by Neil Carmichael, chair of the Education Committee, Maria Miller, chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, Yvette Cooper, chair of the Home Affairs Committee, Dr Sarah Wollaston, chair of the Health Committee, and Iain Wright MP, chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee.

It criticises the government’s response to a recent report from the Women and Equalities Committee that exposed ‘widespread’ sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools, and claims that the government ‘failed to seize the opportunity of announcing plans to introduce a statutory status for PSHE’.

A private members bill - the Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (Statutory Requirement) Bill - is currently before the House and the letter claims that this ‘presents another opportunity’. It calls on Greening to ‘engage constructively’ in the progress of the Bill and ‘consider the consequences of failing to act’.

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