Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education
Updated 13 September 2021
Applies to England
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Personal, social, health and economic education
Updated statutory guidance will come into effect from September 2020.
The revised curriculum subjects will be:
relationships education (primary)
relationships and sex education (RSE) (secondary)
health education (state-funded primary and secondary)
Read more about the consultation and new statutory guidance.
Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education is an important and necessary part of all pupils’ education. All schools should teach PSHE, drawing on good practice, and this expectation is outlined in the introduction to the proposed new national curriculum.
PSHE is a non-statutory subject. To allow teachers the flexibility to deliver high-quality PSHE we consider it unnecessary to provide new standardised frameworks or programmes of study. PSHE can encompass many areas of study. Teachers are best placed to understand the needs of their pupils and do not need additional central prescription.
However, while we believe that it is for schools to tailor their local PSHE programme to reflect the needs of their pupils, we expect schools to use their PSHE education programme to equip pupils with a sound understanding of risk and with the knowledge and skills necessary to make safe and informed decisions.
Schools should seek to use PSHE education to build, where appropriate, on the statutory content already outlined in the national curriculum, the basic school curriculum and in statutory guidance on: drug education, financial education, sex and relationship education (SRE) and the importance of physical activity and diet for a healthy lifestyle.
Relationships and sex education
Relationships and sex education (RSE) is an important part of PSHE education. Relationships education is compulsory for all primary school pupils, and relationships and sex education (RSE) is compulsory for all secondary school pupils.
When any school provides RSE they must have regard to the Secretary of State’s guidance, this is a statutory duty.
Advice for schools
We provided grant funding to the PSHE Association to advise schools in developing their own PSHE curriculums and improve the quality of teaching. The association focuses on signposting schools to resources and in expanding their Chartered Teacher of PSHE programme. We also asked the Association to promote the teaching of consent as part of SRE, in line with the 2000 statutory guidance.
We want teachers to be free to address the topics most relevant for their pupils, drawing on good practice and advice from professional organisations. Schools are free to use the organisations and resources they choose and we encourage organisations to develop guidance for schools in the areas of their expertise.