The Department for Education says :
Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education is an important and necessary part of all pupils’ education. All schools should teach PSHE, drawing on good practice, and this expectation is outlined in the introduction to the proposed new national curriculum.
PSHE is a non-statutory subject. To allow teachers the flexibility to deliver high-quality PSHE we consider it unnecessary to provide new standardised frameworks or programmes of study. PSHE can encompass many areas of study. Teachers are best placed to understand the needs of their pupils and do not need additional central prescription.
However, while we believe that it is for schools to tailor their local PSHE programme to reflect the needs of their pupils, we expect schools to use their PSHE education programme to equip pupils with a sound understanding of risk and with the knowledge and skills necessary to make safe and informed decisions.
Schools should seek to use PSHE education to build, where appropriate, on the statutory content already outlined in the national curriculum, the basic school curriculum and in statutory guidance on: drug education, financial education, sex and relationship education (SRE) and the importance of physical activity and diet for a healthy lifestyle.
And although PSHE is a non-statutory subject, which means that schools are not obliged to teach it, nevertheless an Ofsted officer points out that :
every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which:
promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils, and:
prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
Added to this, in September 2013 the Department for Education reminded schools that they must publish their school curriculum by subject, including their provision for PSHE education.
A strong PSHE department can also go a long way to helping a school fulfil its responsibilities to progress pupils’ good Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development (SMSC) and to ensure they are properly safeguarded.
The PSHE Association publishes resources for teachers and offers CPD (Continuing Professional Development) and training.