Prepare for new mandatory reporting of PSHE and SRE

As you may be aware in January 2014 the Department for Education published the requirement for all schools (including academies and free schools) to publish online details of their curriculum. This includes that for PSHE education and its key components of relationships and sex education (RSE), and drug education.

The Education Act 1996 requires all maintained schools to have an up to date policy on RSE. This is not the case for academies, but most do set this out in a policy. All RSE delivered is part of the school curriculum and should therefore be published on the school website alongside the other requirements given in the School Information (England) Regulations 2012, Schedule 4.

The Health Education Service agree with the national subject association for PSHE, in believing that the same level of detail should be given for PSHE education as for all other subjects, and it is an opportune time to review the curriculum information that your school currently publishes. Releasing such material supports the aim of delivering effective PSHE by giving parents a clear understanding of what their children are learning and enabling them to build upon and enhance the schools provision to create truly effective PSHE education.

To support schools best prepare for the new mandatory requirement to publish PSHE and SRE curricula we are holding a series of twilight briefing sessions. Sessions are free for subscribing schools and settings, £50 for non-subscribers. Session details:

•February 13th 2014, 4.15-5.15pm, HES Training Centre, Midland Croft, Tile Cross, Birmingham, B33 0AW

•March 4th 2014, 4.15-5.15pm, Services for Education, Warwick House, 10 Edward Street, Birmingham, B1 2RX

•March 11th 2014, 4.15-5.15pm, HES Training Centre, Midland Croft, Tile Cross, Birmingham, B33 0AW

To book a place please email with the session you wish to attend, your name and school name.


Is your school’s approach to bullying good enough?

Liz’s highly popular course ‘Anti-Bullying MoT’ is returning at the end of next month. This one day course aims to help schools review and update their policies and approaches to all forms of bullying to make sure they are relevant and fit-for-purpose. The day on February 25th aims to ensure those attending have explored the strengths and limitations of their school or setting’s current anti-bullying approach, and are fully up to date with DfE advice and guidance. Liz will address a range of recent approaches – including tackling homophobic, SEN and sexual bullying. This is particularly important given the recent subsidiary guidance from Ofsted on the areas relating to the behaviour and safety judgement. In addition the recent report from ChildLine highlighted

• Nearly one in four (24 per cent) children aged 11 and under who contacted ChildLine during 2012/13 were concerned about bullying.

• There has been a 95 per cent increase in the number of girls talking about feeling excluded or isolated as a result of being bullied, however counselling about bullying with girls is proportionately lower than with boys.

• For boys, being bullied about their appearance or being ‘different’ was the main reason given for bullying, and represented a quarter of all bullying counselling with boys. Also, one in four boys who contacted ChildLine about bullying told the counsellor that they had experienced violent bullying.

• There was an 87 per cent increase for counselling about online bullying. 4,500 young people contacted ChildLine for support and advice on how to deal with being bullied via social networking sites, chat rooms, online gaming sites, or via their mobile phones.

Some of the feedback we have had from this course previously include:

“on courses I very rarely find myself writing any notes at all – today I have made a great many notes and comments – a clear indication that this was a very worthwhile session. Thank you very much”

“refreshing new ideas and techniques”

“great presentation and really useful ideas and strategies”

“It will allow me to go back to school to begin discussion over our current approach”

If you would like to book a place on the course please click,228/view,listevents/?option=com_advancedopenportal&view=showevent&id=e3c62464-95ec-ba8b-dbc6-525a283c5fbc

New SRE guidance for schools – actually happening!!!

Back into the depths of the new term and some exciting movements in the world of SRE this week with the promise of new guidance from three of the biggest players in the world of PSHE. Also good to see PSHE figuring in the DfE’s new mandatory timeline. Finally some disturbing findings from one of the largest surveys of the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) 16-25 year olds in England.

New SRE guidance
Following the reluctance of the government to update the existing guidance to schools on sex and relationships education, approval has now been given to three major organisations (Sex Education Forum, PSHE Association and Brook) to jointly produce advice aimed at helping schools to bring their SRE into the 21st century. The announcement follows months of campaigning for updated guidance which has been supported by Ofsted, the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and four of the teaching unions. The new document will explain how schools can address contempory sex and relationships issues that have emerged because of concerns about sexual exploitation and technological change and will set the standard for teaching that is inclusive of all pupils.

The guidance will be emailed to schools, but the timescale for delivery has yet to be published.

For support in reviewing your PSHE and SRE policies and curriculum contact (for primary) and (for secondary).

Mandatory reporting on PSHE
The DfE have published the new mandatory timeline for the spring and summer terms. This timeline sets out important mandatory information to help headteachers, principals and governors plan ahead, prepare for and implement mandatory legal requirements during this academic year and beyond. All schools must publish their school curriculum by subject and academic year, including their provision of personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE). To help schools in doing this, the HES is able to provide support in reviewing and updating policy and curriculum for sex and relationships education, drug education and PSHE. Academies and free schools are also required to publish information similar to that required by the regulations relating to their curriculum through their funding agreements. Full timeline available here

Youth Chances: Summary of first findings – the experiences of LGBTQ young people
This report outlines research about the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) 16-25 year olds in England – as reported by young people themselves. To date the project has surveyed over 7,000 young people aged 16-25, making it the biggest, most representative and robust survey of its kind.

The report raises some disturbing findings including:

• All respondents perceive that discrimination against LGBTQ people in general is still common and this is confirmed by the higher levels of discrimination, and disadvantage that young people experience.

• Most young LGBTQ people feel that their time at school is affected by hostility or fear, with consequences such as feeling left out, lower grades and having to move schools. Most report that their school supported its pupils badly in respect of sexuality or gender identity.

• Schools also neglect areas that are known to be public health concerns. Sex and relationships education is not inclusive of LGB relationships and does not provide young people with the emotional and sexual health information they need. This is a particular concern for young gay and bisexual men who are at higher risk of STIs and HIV.

• LGBTQ young people report significantly higher levels of mental health problems including depression and anxiety, self-harm and suicidal thoughts. High rates of poor mental health were found in the whole sample, presenting a concerning picture in the youth population at large.

The full report is available here YC_REPORT_FirstFindings_2014

For support on dealing with all bullying including homophobic, and wider emotional health issues, contact

Initial teacher training with Services for Education
We are currently accepting applications to join our primary initial teacher training programme delivered in partnership with Calthorpe Teaching School. We have a range of partner schools offering training year placements through the new School Direct Fee Paying option. The programme allows trainees to become fully involved in school life and to gain a clear understanding and appreciation of what it really means to be a teacher and how schools work, placing them in an excellent position when looking for their first teaching job. Trainees be based in their training school and will take part in a 40 day training programme over the year to develop skills and knowledge, and a second school and a special school placement to give them the breadth of understanding and experience necessary to become an outstanding trainee.

We currently have places at the following schools
• Greenholm Academy
• Kingsland Primary School
• Jakeman Nursery
• Jessons Primary School (Dudley)
• Boldmere Junior School
• Christ Church C.E. Primary School

Our programme leads to QTS and fees for the 2014/15 academic year will be £7500. Applicants will be able to apply for a student loan of £6000. Maintenance grants and loans may also be available. All trainees with degree level 2:1 or above are eligible for a training bursary of between £4000 and £9000. If you train in a school with more than 35% free school meals then your bursary is increased by 25%. For further information contact, or to apply for a place please visit

Last call for Intro to Counselling 2 day training
This great course designed to help school staff develop their skills and confidence in talking to children and young people is running on Jan 21st & 22nd. See our Courses section of this website for details and booking.

I never want to see another mince pie

Christmas holidays are now a distant memory. New Year resolutions have been set and then ignored. The tin of Quality Street sits all empty but for a few hard centres and orange creams. That ‘get fit and healthy’ campaign hasn’t quite got started yet (well it is so cold and dark outside), but HES is here – all bright and bubbly looking forward to the new term. Will 2014 be as busy in the worlds of PSHE, safeguarding and emotional health as last year? The issues for children and young people don’t ever go away, but we are here to help you provide the best support to help them deal appropriately with the challenges of life.

New guidance from Ofsted
Last week Ofsted published some very interesting ‘subsidiary’ guidance to support consistency in inspections. The subsidiary guidance (available here Subsidiary guidance) is potentially a really useful document and covers all the areas that Ofsted now inspect upon. Included in the behaviour and safety section are that Inspectors should consider the food on offer at the school and atmosphere of the school canteen. They should:
 consider how lunch time and the dining space contribute to good behaviour and the culture in the school, including by spending time in the lunch hall, and
 ask school leaders how they help to ensure a healthy lifestyle for their children and, specifically, whether their dietary needs have been considered.

There is a big focus on bullying – how schools are addressing this and what pupils’ perceptions are. In order to evaluate pupils’ attitudes to homophobia and other forms of prejudice, the guidance says inspectors should specifically ask pupils about the type of language they hear around the school. This should be compared to responses from staff in order to test the school’s attitudes to such issues. Inspectors should also explore with a range of staff, including teaching assistants, the training they have had about different aspects of bullying, including prejudice-based bullying; how confident they feel as result; how well supported they are by senior staff when they encounter bullying and how they promote an understanding of individual differences through the curriculum. In particular, inspectors should consider how pupils are taught about diversity in subjects such as personal, social and health education (PSHE) and citizenship.

Safeguarding remains a priority. Safeguarding practice and guidance is underpinned by a duty for schools to cooperate with relevant agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Inspectors should check the single central record to ensure that adults working with pupils are appropriately recruited and vetted. Other evidence will come from discussions with the headteacher, governors’ representatives and other staff which explore management responsibilities for child protection and the training and support for safeguarding.

Inspectors should observe pupils around the school and discuss with them whether the school helps pupils to keep safe, encourages them to adopt safe and responsible practices, and to deal sensibly with risk. Inspectors should include e-safety in their discussions with pupils, covering topics such as safe use of the internet and social networking sites and cyber bullying including by text message, and the measures the school takes to promote safe use and combat unsafe use.

Lots here to emphasise the importance of staff training, high quality policy and procedures, and support systems for pupils.

Also published are the new Ofsted generic grade descriptors and supplementary subject-specific guidance for inspectors on making judgements during visits to schools. All curriculum areas are covered – but here Supplementary subject-specific guidance for PSHE education are the PSHE ones.

Quite a lot to be thinking about, about and if that wasn’t enough we’ve begun interviews for our new cohort of trainee teaches to work with us and Calthorpe Teaching School from September. Very excitingly, we are now also able to provide the brand new Early Years Initial Teacher Training programme. Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT) is the training and assessment of Early Years Teachers against the Early Years Teachers’ Standard which were published in July 2013. These build on the Early Years Professional Status Standards and operate in parallel with the Teachers’ Standards. Trainees passing successfully through EYITT programmes will be awarded Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS). There will be lots more information about this soon, and we will be holding a briefing in February for early year providers interested in taking on a trainee. If you can’t wait until then and want to know more, contact Kathy on

Oh yes – and don’t forget – final places still available for the ‘Working with Young People Around Pornography’ and ‘Introduction to Counselling Skills’ courses. And we promise – there will not be a mince pie in sight!