Personal, social and health education (PSHE)

Ofsted reports in PSHE and materials for schools

  • Not yet good enough: personal, social, health and economic education in schools - 1 May 2013. This report evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education in primary and secondary schools in England. It is based on evidence from inspections of PSHE education carried out between January 2012 and July 2012 in 50 maintained schools and on evidence from an online survey of 178 young people conducted on behalf of Ofsted between October and November 2012.
  • Personal, social, health and economic education in schools - 23 July 2010. This report is based on evidence from inspections of personal, social, health and economic education in schools between September 2006 and July 2009 in 165 maintained schools in England. It reports on standards in the subject, and highlights the key areas in need of improvement.
  • Food in schools - 25 June 2010. This report looks at the progress that schools are making in encouraging healthy eating and in meeting the government’s food-based and nutrient-based standards.
  • Developing financially capable young people - 12 March 2008. This report draws on a small survey of secondary schools and colleges carried out during 2006/07 to identify features of good practice in personal finance education. It examines the case for personal finance education being part of the curriculum for all 11–18-year-olds and considers current weaknesses in provision and the barriers to future development. It makes a number of recommendations to improve personal finance education.

Inspectors visit 150 schools each year to inform Ofsted’s subject surveys in English, mathematics and science. Survey visits for other subjects are less frequent but continue to take place from time to time.

Case studies of good practice in PSHE in schools 

Effective integration of pupils with disabilities and complex needs into mainstream school: St John Bosco Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School - 5 March 2013. This example explains how St John Bosco School has successfully established a caring, inclusive learning environment where all types of difference are celebrated.

Providing an outstanding PSHE curriculum: Walton High - 26 November 2012. This example shows how Walton High’s multi-faceted approach to personal, social, health and enterprise education is extremely successful.

Outstanding sex and relationships education in a Catholic context: The John Henry Newman Catholic School - 8 November 2012. This example shows how sex and relationships education is delivered comprehensively and effectively in a Catholic context as part of the PSHE programme.

What a difference a day makes: Rossett School - 10 September 2012. This example demonstrates how school leaders have achieved great success in establishing a caring and cohesive community where difference is not ‘tolerated’ but celebrated. The school’s successful work to tackle homophobia and other forms of discrimination has secured a safe and caring environment which promotes students’ achievements, confidence and self-esteem. It also highlights the wide range of activities which promote PSHE education and citizenship effectively.

A whole-school approach to tackling homophobic bullying and ingrained attitudes: Stoke Newington School and Sixth Form - 3 February 2012. Stoke Newington has a curriculum that meets the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and extends all students’ understanding of diversity. Training for all staff, their commitment to equality and diversity and their approach to poor behaviour have successfully tackled homophobic language, attitudes and bullying.

Creating an inclusive school community: Central Street Infant and Nursery School - 3 February 2012. Knowledge of different types of families ensures that all parents and carers regardless of their sexuality and backgrounds are welcomed into this inclusive school community. Provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage and in Key Stage 1 ensures that pupils whose parents and carers or family members are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender feel included. The school has successfully tackled homophobic language, attitudes and behaviour.

The personal, social and spiritual development of young people in an inner city area - 7 March 2011. Effective personal, social and spiritual development of young people in an inner city area.

National Lead

Janet Palmer is the National Lead for Personal, Social Health and Economics Education (PSHE education). Janet has been an HMI for eight years and the National Lead since 2011. Before joining Ofsted, Janet was PGCE subject coordinator at Manchester Metropolitan University, responsible for the training of social science, PSHE and citizenship teachers. As adviser to the former DfES on the ‘Certification of the Teaching of PSHE’ from 2002 to 2005 she worked with the QCA, the Teenage Pregnancy Unit and the Health Development Agency to agree the Standards for PSHE Certification, plan and carry out the training of PSHE ‘leads’ and wrote the supporting handbook and materials.

External links

Annual Report 2012/13