Decline in PSHE lessons means children may be more at risk

The TES is reporting that a decline in PSHE teaching time may mean children are not being taught the risks of strangers and abuse.

Department for Education data shows that, since 2011, the total amount of time secondary schools devoted to personal, social and health education (PSHE) – including lessons in child safety – has fallen by 32 per cent. In 2011, secondary schools around the country delivered a total of 91,800 hours of PSHE lessons. By 2015, this had fallen to 65,200 hours.

In contrast, a YouGov poll, conducted earlier this month, reveals that 92 per cent of parents believe that all pupils should receive lessons about staying safe from abusers and avoiding unsafe contact with strangers.

The poll was commissioned by the PSHE Association, the national body for the subject. Joe Hayman, the association’s chief executive, has said that, if classroom time given to child safety continues to fall at the current rate, by 2020 there would be virtually no lessons delivered in the subject.

“These new figures show an alarming decline, which damages schools’ ability to cover danger, such as contact from strangers online and staying safe from abuse, leaving children at considerable risk,” he said.

More at: Decline in PSHE lessons means children may be more at risk

Do you think PSHE lessons are essential to educating children on staying safe from abuse? Or are there other methods? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or via Twitter. ~ Meena

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Categories: Teaching.


  1. Nairb1

    Can you have a PSHE exam? Can PSHE results be used to judge schools and force academisation.
    No. Not worth spending time on. Ask Gove and Gibb.

  2. PSHE should be compulsory and inspected by Ofsted (a reformed inspectorate, of course, not the present punitive incarnation).
    But it’s not surprising the amount of time given to topics such as PSHE, work-related education including careers education and guidance (CEG) has fallen – they don’t count towards league tables.  Worse, their decline reflects the prejudiced opinion of the former SoS Michael Gove.  David Laws, former schools minister, in his book ‘Coalition’ says Gove had a visceral hatred of careers advisers and sex educators (among other targets of his bile).  When what is taught in school depends on the bias of an education secretary, then education is in trouble.

  3. Alan OSullivan

    Janet2 You are absolutely right again and as always you support your argument with well researched press releases, statements or data.

  4. ImpressMinds

    RodillianMAT the government/schools must start to appreciate the value in quality in PSHE lessons. This is so disappointing #LifeLessons

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