Safeguarding Children: The Need for Effective PSHE Teaching

The impact PSHE can have on a child’s wellbeing, safety and personal development is significant. With a number of changes announced to the way that it will be taught in schools, recent focus highlights how crucial PSHE is to prepare children and young people to meet the challenges of the modern world confidently.

How will PSHE change? 

The way in which PSHE will be delivered through schools is set to change in light of the upcoming statutory requirements concerning Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education. From September 2020, all schools will be expected to teach RSE within their PSHE curriculum, covering sensitive topics such as the concept of consent, sexual exploitation and domestic abuse. This will be alongside the mandatory requirement to include Health Education in the curriculum to promote healthier lifestyles among pupils

How Can PSHE Safeguard Young People? 

Today’s modern society poses an increasing variety of risks to children and young people that would not have been considered in 2000, when the RSE guidance was last reviewed. The dangers of being online are prevalent, with an increase in online pornography, sexting and grooming. Effective PSHE teaching is more important than ever, if we are to ensure that we are keeping children and young people safe and aware.

A shocking 41% of young girls surveyed by Terrace Higgins Trust in 2015 had experienced some kind of sexual harassment. These statistics highlight the growing need for effective RSE to safeguard pupils from harm. PSHE lessons are the most effective and best placed forum to ensure that children and young people are aware of the dangers they face and know how to keep themselves safe. 

How Can PSHE Combat the Child Mental Health Crisis?

There are numerous ways in which PSHE has the power to ensure that we are nurturing a generation of informed, safe and healthy young people. A growing concern throughout the education sector is pupil wellbeing, in light of recent research demonstrating the worrying scale of the mental health crisis for young people. 1 in 10 children aged between 5 and 16 are classified as having a mental health crisis – a figure that is indicative of the increasingly technology-orientated world children grow up in today. In 2016, NSPCC voiced concerns over the fact that there had been an 88% increase in the number of children seeking help for online abuse.

It is evident that action needs to be taken to tackle the growing issues inflicted on children and young people regarding wellbeing, sex education, drugs and alcohol education and other modern dangers faced. It is essential that we are supporting our young people to prepare them for the future and to enhance their personal development.  Young people need to be informed about the risks they face, able to identify dangers and equipped to respond appropriately. 

How Can Schools Improve PSHE Teaching?

More needs to be done to support PSHE teachers so that they feel prepared, and by enhancing their confidence in their ability to deliver, they will successfully be able to implement the new PSHE curriculum throughout their school

Read our latest blog which can provide support for PSHE leads during the school closures: Guide for PSHE Leads in the Event of School Closures