PSHE

PSHE

Personal, social and health education (PSHE) is a vital part of supporting resilience by helping students recognise and manage risky behaviours, and includes:

  • relationships and sex education
  • drug education (including alcohol, tobacco and volatile substance abuse)
  • emotional health and wellbeing / mental health
  • safety (internet safety / personal safety / bullying)
  • healthier lifestyles

PSHE provides pupils with the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes to make informed decisions about their lives.

The aim of much of our work is to challenge you to go much further in extending and strengthening PSHE in school so that it is effective, evidence-based and quality-assured.

The PSHE Association was formed to raise the status, quality and impact of PSHE, and to provide help and support to teachers and other PSHE professionals. You can find lots of information and resources on their fantastic website.

Find out about the Leicestershire PSHE Review in the Leicestershire PSHE Toolkit 'Better than Good Enough' Part 3 Section 2 - Annual Review of PSHE Education: The process

PSHE policy guidelines

Pupil voice

Pupil voice is a key part of the Whole School Approach and pupils should be engaged and involved in all aspects of your Healthy Schools work.

Learner Particpation

Learner participation relates to young people being asked their opinion on issues of importance to them, or issues which affect them within their education. The concept of learner participation originates mainly from Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Article 12 lays down the right of all children and young people to have a say in what they think should happen and to have their opinions taken into account when adults are making decisions that affect them.

Having an effective way that learners can openly express their opinions on matters that affect them can be a rewarding experience for learners and teaching staff, creating strong lines of communication and positive links among the school community.

Effective learner participation in schools can:

  • Bring about personal growth and development for those involved
  • Improve self-confidence
  • Improve learning
  • Improve citizenship
  • Improve school organisation and decision making processes

When you think how many decisions are made in a school, over matters that directly affect learners, the potential for learner participation is vast and yet in reality this scope of participation is rarely fully realised. There is a danger that learner involvement in decision-making may be tokenistic or only representative of the views of a few articulate and confident learners and not a true reflection of the opinions of the true demographic of the school.

Widening the scope of Learner Participation

There needs to be commitment and involvement from the Senior Leadership Team, governors, teachers and school support staff for learner participation to be truly effective. The whole school body needs to understand what is meant by learner participation, what the benefits are, their role in supporting it and how information will be communicated through the whole school.

Organising Learner Participation

Learner participation usually takes place through learner participation forums, a school council or a whole school pupil parliament. There is no one set structure only the set principle that the body of learners is set up to represent all learners on issues that affect them. To be effective it must be representative of the views of all the learners. The least vocal learners must be given opportunities to have a 'voice'.

Remember that each school is on their own the journey to shared decision-making and what is fundamentally important is that your school has a clear picture of what that final goal looks like and is taking steps towards it. Shared decision-making won't happen overnight and there will be much to learn along the way, lessons that will be unique to your learners and your school. Be brave in your commitment to working in a rights respecting school, determined in your support and belief in learner participation and resilient when you face challenges. Always remember, meaningful and inclusive engagement and participation of learners, of all ages and abilities, in their education, will not only improve outcomes for learners but the whole school community.

When you think how many decisions are made in a school, over matters that directly affect learners, the potential for learner participation is vast and yet in reality this scope of participation is rarely fully realised. There is a danger that learner involvement in decision-making may be tokenistic or only representative of the views of a few articulate and confident learners and not a true reflection of the opinions of the true demographic of the school.

For more information and support see our school council toolkit below:

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