PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education) is a school subject through which pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe, and prepare for life and work in modern Britain. Evidence shows that well-delivered PSHCE programmes have an impact on both academic and non-academic outcomes for pupils, particularly the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.
PSHCE aims to develop skills and attributes such as resilience, self-esteem, risk-management, teamworking and critical thinking in the context of learning grouped into various themes. The national curriculum also states that ‘all schools should make provision for personal, social, health and economic education, drawing on good practice’.
PSHE education helps pupils to develop the abilities they need to manage many of the critical opportunities, challenges and responsibilities they will face as they grow up and in adulthood. By teaching pupils to stay safe and healthy, and by building self-esteem, resilience and empathy, an effective PSHE programme can tackle barriers to learning, raise aspirations, and improve the life chances of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils. There is evidence to show that PSHE education can address teenage pregnancy, substance misuse, unhealthy eating, lack of physical activity, and emotional health. The skills and attributes developed through PSHE education are also shown to increase academic attainment and attendance rates, particularly among pupils eligible for free school meals, as well as improve employability and boost social mobility.