Government rejects calls for statutory PSHE and SRE

Deborah Gold, CEO at NAT (National AIDS Trust), said: 

“Today, the Government announced it won’t be following the recommendation of the Education Select Committee by making PSHE and SRE compulsory in all schools despite repeated calls from MPs, teachers and health organisations. This means it will continue to be delivered according to the whims of individual head teachers rather than the needs of young people. We are extremely disappointed.  In her statement on the subject, the Minister says she wishes instead to focus on addressing the huge variability in the quality of PSHE and SRE, which ironically is the very reason why giving the subject statutory status is absolutely essential.  

“In our survey of young gay and bisexual men in 2014, we found 75% had never received information on relationships and being attracted to other guys and 33% had never received information about how HIV is passed on.  The number of young men diagnosed with HIV has doubled in the past 10 years, yet the Government seems willing to continue to allow a situation where some schools simply don’t have to discuss these topics beyond basic information in a science lesson.  We will continue to fight for PSHE and SRE in all schools and for all young people. We don’t call for statutory status as the solution to all our problems, we call for it as the bare minimum."

You can read the letter from Nicky Morgan, dated 10 February 2016, here