Improving Personal and Social Education

Consent education to be part of updated teaching resources.

New resources to address sexual harassment and updated consent education guidance have been recommended as part of a review of Personal and Social Education (PSE).

The PSE recommendations will ensure schools and teachers have the resources and support needed to ensure a more consistent approach in responding to the issues young people face today.

Updated guidance for schools to strengthen the delivery of age and stage appropriate consent education will be taken forward and new resources to address the issue of sexual harassment, both in schools and online, will be developed.

The review also recommends updating guidance on mental health support available to pupils and staff and says schools should engage with pupils in the design and delivery of PSE classes.

Speaking at Queen Anne’s High School in Dunfermline, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“Personal and Social Education is critical to giving young people the knowledge, skills and resilience to navigate the various stages of their lives and reach their full potential.

“Pupils have told us that PSE needs to be more relevant, empathetic and informative and must reflect the issues facing young people today. Updated consent education will be stage and age appropriate, will involve young people in the design and delivery of classes and will deliver more consistent teaching at all levels.

“The recommendations will also ensure a high standard of learning and support in mental, physical and emotional wellbeing and will give pupils greater access to mental health support.”

An implementation group, jointly chaired by Cosla and the Scottish Government, will take forward the review’s recommendations.

COSLA's Children and Young People Spokesperson, Councillor Stephen McCabe, said:

“COSLA welcomes the publication of this report and the recommendations it contains - we look forward to working with Scottish Government, Education Scotland, teaching unions, representative third sector organisations and others, to ensure these are implemented appropriately.

“Personal and Social Education is an important element of the work schools across Scotland are involved in everyday to ensure that children and young people develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need now and in the future for mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing.”


Find out more on the review of PSE and read in full the recommendations report.

Contact: Richard Clarke - 0131 244 3069 / 07467 447 253 


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