BHA responds to PSHE Review

30 November, 2011

Today is the final day of the government’s Review of Personal, Social, Health and Economics (PSHE) Education, and the British Humanist Association (BHA) has submitted its response. In it, the BHA has argued for PSHE, including Sex and Relationships Education (SRE), to become a statutory subject, including in primary schools and in Academies and Free Schools.

The BHA worked extensively in developing its response to the Review. As a member of the Sex Education Forum (SEF), we responded to their survey on the Review and represented the humanist point of view at a number of their stakeholder events. Their final response is also now available. We also contributed to the PSHE Association’s response. In addition, we briefed MPs and peers who are in the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) or otherwise interested in PSHE, encouraging them to submit their own responses. And we made available a draft version of our response, encouraging members and supporters to use it in also submitting their own responses.

BHA Education Campaigner Richy Thompson commented, ‘As we make clear in our response, we believe that all young people are entitled to full, accurate and age-appropriate SRE including unbiased information on contraception, sexually transmitted infections, abortion, sexual orientation, and the many forms of family relationship conducive to individual fulfilment and the stability of society.

‘In particular, Academies and Free Schools do not have to teach any sex education. We believe the law should be amended to bring them into line with other state-funded schools. Amending model funding agreements to do this would be welcome but less positive than changing the law, as this would miss the Academies already in existence. Finally, we believe that there is absolutely a place for SRE in primary schools.’


For further comment or information, please contact Richy Thompson on 020 7462 4993.

Read more about the BHA’s campaigns work on Sex and Relationships Education.

Read the BHA’s position statement on SRE.

Read more about the Department for Education’s Review of Personal, Social, Health and Economics (PSHE) Education.

Read the BHA’s draft response, final response and response to the SEF survey, as well as our briefing for MPs and peers who are in the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) or otherwise interested in PSHE.

Read the SEF’s response, as well as the response of the Accord Coalition, of which the BHA is a founding member. The BHA also contributed to the PSHE Association’s response.

The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief. The BHA contributes to debate on a wide range of ethical issues from stem cell research to sex education. The BHA is a member of the National Children’s Bureau Sex Education Forum (SEF) and the Children’s Rights Alliance for England.