Today the Education Select Committee has published a landmark report Life Lessons: PSHE and SRE in schools that recommends government take action to provide statutory PSHE. The link to the report is here and I recommend reading it - an excellent analysis and joyful conclusions http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmeduc/145/145.pdf
In calling for statutory PSHE it rightly recognises the importance of system change, which Brook articulated in our 21st Century SRE report in 2011. The Committee stated "statutory status for PSHE would not in itself guarantee an improvement in the quality of teaching, but we accept that 'system change' is needed to raise the status of the subject - particularly in terms of dedicated curriculum time and the supply of suitably trained teachers".
So, this really is a landmark report that demonstrates just how strong the consensus is - the Education Select Committee is a cross party group - and just how small the vocal minority that objects to high quality sex and relationships education really is. The Education Select Committee must be congratulated on their excellent analysis and robust, common sense recommendations.
We cannot assume that the job is now done, however. Government ordinarily would publish a response to the report within 60 days, but that of course will probably not happen because we have a General Election this year, so it is my expectation that the next Government, whoever that is, will decide how to respond to the recommendations. We will be waiting and watching to ensure government does respond in due course, and that this report does not get kicked into the long grass.
I want to thank colleagues Lucy Emmerson (Sex Education Forum), Alison Hadley (Teenage Pregnancy Knowledge Exchange), Joe Hayman (PSHE Association) and Roger Ingham (Centre for Sexual Health Research) who also gave oral evidence and an enormous amount of follow up collaborative work to ensure the Committee had the facts and evidence about PSHE and SRE.
And here the link to the Supplementary Advice published by Brook with PSHE Association and Sex Education Forum almost exactly a year ago, which the Education Select Committee recommends Department of Education formally endorse www.brook.org.uk/supplementaryadvice