On Thursday 20th February at 8pm GMT, (7am on the Friday Morning AEDT in Sydney) I shall be hosting the #UKEdChat on Twitter.
We’ll be talking about teaching citizenship, and Personal, Social & Health Education (PSHE) in schools.
In the UK, PSHE education remains a non-statutory subject, but the National Curriculum framework document states that:
All schools should make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), drawing on good practice.
PSHE covers a wide range of concepts:
Identity (their personal qualities, attitudes, skills, attributes and achievements and what influences these)
Relationships (including different types and in different settings)
A healthy (including physically, emotionally and socially) balanced lifestyle (including within relationships, work-life, exercise and rest, spending and saving and diet)
Risk (to be managed rather than simply avoided) and safety (including behaviour and strategies in different settings)
Diversity and equality (in all its forms)
Rights, responsibilities (including fairness and justice) and consent (in different contexts)
Change (as something to be managed) and resilience (the skills, strategies and ‘inner resources’ we can draw on when faced with challenging change or circumstance)
Power (how it is used and encountered in a variety of contexts including persuasion, bullying, negotiation and ‘win-win’ outcomes)
Career (including enterprise and economic understanding).
However, with the move to more independent schools, academies and free schools in the UK, I wonder if there is a risk of PSHE being brushed aside to increase focus on ‘more important’ subject areas.
Despite the vast array of concepts outlined above, the only statutory aspect of PSHE these schools must cover is sex and relationships education (including sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS).
In Australia, much of what would be taught in PSHE is taught in Personal Development, Health & Physical Education, (PDHPE) or Health & Physical Education (HPE) and is mandatory regardless of what school you work in.
As someone who qualified and taught in the UK before moving to Australia I will find it interesting to contrast attitudes to teaching what I consider to be something that is relevant to any student in any country.
So whether you teach in the UK, Australia, or anywhere else in the world, I hope you can join us for the #UKEdChat on Thursday 20th Feb at 8pm GMT.