In October 2008, then Schools Minister Jim Knight announced that Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education would become compulsory (for Key Stages 1-4). Following this, in November 2009, Sheffield Hallam University was contracted by the Department to conduct a mapping exercise of PSHE education in primary and secondary schools in England.
This exercise resulted from a recommendation in the Macdonald Review, which identified the need for research to establish and report on the prevalent models of delivery for PSHE education and their effectiveness in improving outcomes for children and young people.
The research investigated if there is a prevalent delivery model, how the different strands are delivered in primary/secondary schools, the length of the allocated time in the curriculum and the extent to which schools provide coverage of all elements of the subject.
The issues were addressed through a two-strand methodology. It included a nationally representative survey of 923 primary and 617 secondary schools, followed by in-depth case studies with fourteen schools.