Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) is undergoing changes within UK schools, and many topics, including healthy lifestyles, sex and relationships, and mental resilience/wellbeing will become statutory parts of the curriculum. The overall aim of this study was to describe teachers’ views about these topics and how they should be delivered. A cross sectional online survey was completed by 167 teachers (87.8% female). Questions were asked about what was currently covered in schools, and which topics were important, and appropriate. Rating scales were used to garner attitudes and open ended questions probed for more details from the participants. Peer pressure about drugs and alcohol was commonly discussed (72% of participants) however pleasurable effects of drugs were rated inappropriate by 38.1%. Sexting (75.4%), sexual consent (69.5%) were the most frequently discussed in the sex and relationship topics, while 26.5% said that sexually transmitted diseases were not appropriate to talk about in school. Resilience (94.3%), body image/appearance (91.9%) had high levels of coverage, while 41.8% said treatments for mental health conditions were not discussed but should be. For all topics, most teachers rated their access to training as insufficient. Confidence in talking about the topic of mental health and wellbeing was lower than for the other topics. Issues highlighted by these findings should be addressed when new curriculums are being planned. Teachers witness the challenges faced by their pupils on a daily basis and their experiences, alongside further engagement with pupils, should be used to meaningfully inform the new PSHE curriculum.
Davies, Emma L.
Department of Psychology, Health and Professional DevelopmentDepartment of Nursing
Year of publication: 2020Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-12-18