Review of Personal and Social Education: preparing Scotland's children and young people for learning, work and life

Review of personal and social education (PSE), including the role of guidance in schools and school counselling services and the effectiveness of the provision of the universal support entitlement for children and young people in local authority schools.

2. The Review of Personal and Social Education Delivery


The 10-year Mental Health Strategy was published on 30 March 2017, and set out the Scottish Governments' vision to improve mental health in Scotland. A key section in the Strategy dealt with prevention and early intervention and outlined the ambition that every child and young person should have appropriate access to emotional and mental well-being support in school. The very first action in the Strategy committed to a review of PSE, including considering the role of pastoral guidance in local authority schools, and what services are provided for counselling for children and young people. The Review has been undertaken over three phases.

Phase 1 was a review of communications and an initial exploration of PSE teaching resources. This was completed in August 2017 and refreshed in September 2018, and the outcome published on the Scottish Government's website[5].

Phase 2 was a Thematic Inspection of delivery of PSE in schools and early learning and childcare settings across Scotland, carried out by Education Scotland[6].

Phase 3 was a programme of engagement with key stakeholders from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES), local authorities, third sector organisations, teaching unions and faith groups. We also commissioned Young Scot to undertake targeted online engagement with young people and organised an engagement session in collaboration with Girlguiding Scotland. During this phase of the Review we also received written representations from the Scottish Guidance Association, Barnardo's Scotland, Who Cares? Scotland, NSPCC and from a retired Development Officer for Personal Support, an interested member of the public who wished to comment on Education Scotland's Thematic Inspection and PSE delivery overall. The purpose of the engagement was to inform consideration of a suite of final recommendations.

Further detail on each of the three phases is contained within the remainder of the document.

"PSE is really good for learning about everything you might encounter in life. Guidance teachers are really good at getting to know you well and help you out. When some seniors and other people outside of my school come to give talks, it’s very useful the kind of things they tell us about everything that could come your way and how to overcome it. It’s very empowering and PSE is a very good and vital subject."

(source: Young Scot online survey: October 2018)

Phase One – A Review of Communications and Resources

This phase involved gathering together the resources published by Education Scotland which could be relevant for a primary or secondary HWB/PSE class. All the resources produced by Education Scotland are available on the National Improvement Hub[7]. The link to the review of communications and resources can be found on the Scottish Government website[8].

The resources also included publications produced by NHS Scotland and the Scottish Catholic Education Service, which Education Scotland have been consulted on. Recognising that this is a fast paced area of development, this work was refreshed in September 2018 to take account of latest developments.

Education Scotland's Curriculum for Excellence: A Statement for Practitioners[9] (Aug 2016) stated that the two key resources which support practitioners to plan learning, teaching and assessment are the experiences and outcomes and benchmarks. While the Curriculum for Excellence framework is set at a national level, it is up to local authorities and schools to determine how they will deliver the curriculum to best suit the children and young people in their area.

To further support the development and implementation of PSE, Education Scotland has produced resources and provided training around relationships and behaviour, children's rights, restorative and solution oriented approaches, nurture and trauma informed practice and Mentors in Violence Prevention.

Since 2002, the Sexual Health and Relationships Education (SHARE)[10] programme has been delivered in schools and other educational settings across Scotland. It is underpinned by research and development with teachers, health professionals, academics, trainers, parents and more importantly, young people themselves. It supports the implementation of national policy guidance on the provision of relationships and sex education and health promoting schools, the outcomes of the Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Framework 2011–2015 as well as building on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This resource was updated in 2014. It is recognised that many local authorities and schools will produce their own resources for each of the subject areas and these will be produced in partnership with local partners and children and young people. The Thematic Inspection highlighted some examples of good practice.

In addition, schools may use specific resources produced by third sector organisations. Some of these resources will be freely available, others will have a fee and often a programme of support as part of this. Education Scotland does not recommend the use of any programme over another and decisions to use a particular programme should take into account local needs and circumstances and local delivery context. Robust evaluations should be carried out to measure the effectiveness of these programmes.

A number of local authorities have also worked together to produce joint resources around relationships and sexual health, working with local partners.


The National Improvement Hub provides information and support that enables practitioners to improve their practice and increase the quality of learners' experiences and outcomes. Resources produced by local authorities and schools which have been evaluated and demonstrate effectiveness for children and young people's progression should be shared on the Hub, particularly in the areas identified above.

The Review found that there was a very limited number of resources available for Education Scotland to make available, especially related to specific topics including mental health, finances, life skills, politics and options for school leavers.

"I enjoy some parts of PSE but I do not like the way it is taught. I wish there was more practical ways of learning it."

(source: Young Scot online survey: October 2018)

Phase Two – Thematic Inspection of PSE Delivery in Schools

Over the period September 2017 to May 2018, Education Scotland visited ten early learning and childcare settings; 21 primary schools; 20 secondary schools; and four special schools. The sample of 55 schools and early learning and childcare settings visited included a wide geographical spread across Scotland, and both urban and rural areas. It included denominational and non-denominational schools, and a number of early learning and childcare settings and schools with high proportions of children and young people living in the most deprived areas.

During their visits, the Education Scotland team observed learning and teaching; spoke to teachers and other staff, children and young people, parents and carers and partners, and looked at relevant documentation.

A full copy of the report can be found on Education Scotland's webpages[11] – the main summary of the report is contained below.

In undertaking the Thematic Inspection the Education Scotland team were looking at the following eight indicators of PSE Delivery:

1. The content and quality of PSE/HWB programmes for children and young people from 3 to 18 years in Scottish schools and early learning and childcare settings.

2. How PSE/HWB programmes are delivered and the quality of learning, achievement and progress.

3. The effectiveness of the provision of the universal support entitlement and staged intervention for social, emotional and behavioural support.

4. The effectiveness of pastoral guidance in supporting young people in secondary schools.

5. How positive mental health is encouraged, how issues are identified and the extent of specific counselling services available for children and young people in schools.

6. How the issue of sexual consent is taught within relationships, sexual health and parenthood from early learning through all stages of school education.

7. How learner engagement and co-design of PSE/HWB programmes is taken forward in schools and early learning and childcare settings.

8. The extent to which equalities issues taught in PSE/HWB, teach children and young people about prejudice and promote an understanding of different groups of people.


The findings of the Thematic Inspection reported a number of Key strengths as well as a number of Aspects for improvement:

Key strengths

Across all sectors

1. Positive ethos and relationships supporting children's and young people's HWB, including positive mental health.

2. Partnerships and multi-agency working to support children's and young people's range of needs.

3. Commitment of staff to professional learning and to ensuring PSE/HWB programmes are continually updated to take account of '21st century issues'.

4. The contribution to children's and young people's confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing made by opportunities for personal achievement and the celebration of successes.

5. Opportunities for group discussions and collaboration in PSE/HWB, which successfully engage children and young people in their learning.

6. The commitment of staff and partners to universal support and children's and young people's access to a member of staff who knows them well. This effectively promotes children's and young people's wellbeing.

7. Approaches to identifying children and young people with social, emotional and behavioural needs and the range of targeted support to meet their needs.

Secondary schools

8. The leadership role of guidance/pupil support/pastoral care teachers in delivering PSE/HWB in secondary schools which builds relationships and enhances support for the wellbeing of all young people.

Aspects for improvement

Across all sectors

1. Ensure that children's and young people's learning experiences in PSE/HWB are of a consistently high quality.

2. Improve approaches to tracking and monitoring children's and young people's progress in PSE/HWB to ensure their needs are being met and that they are making suitable progress. Use of the national benchmarks and the wellbeing indicators will support this work.

3. Improve access to professional counselling services.

4. Ensure an appropriate focus on the issue of sexual consent, especially in primary school

5. Increase opportunities for children and young people to be involved in designing their PSE/HWB programmes.

6. Ensure a greater focus on learning about all aspects of equalities.

7. Continue to ensure a range of opportunities for career-long professional learning to support staff, in developing confidence, knowledge and skills in delivering fully up-to-date PSE/HWB programmes.

8. Building on the positive progress being made in S5/S6, more emphasis should be given to developing an understanding of future career options and skills for work in the earlier stages of secondary as well as in primary schools and early learning and childcare settings in line with the Career Education Standard 3-18. This should include purposeful engagement with local employers and meaningful experiences of the world of work.

Secondary schools

9. Review PSE/HWB programmes in S5/S6 to ensure young people get their full entitlement and their needs are met.

10. Review the effectiveness of tutor periods in secondary schools to ensure that the time spent is well used and relevant to support young people's HWB.

11. Continue to review the role of guidance/pupil support/pastoral care staff in secondary schools to ensure an appropriate balance of responsibilities across universal and targeted support.

How the findings have been used

The findings of Education Scotland's Thematic Inspection have been used as the main point for engagement within Phase 3. The Key strengths and Aspects for improvement were highlighted in all of the engagement sessions and attendees' views were sought on the findings, and views on their own experience of PSE delivery.

The Aspects for improvement have been used as the indicator on which to draw out some recommendations, matching them with the comments raised during the engagement sessions.

Phase Three – Programme of Engagement

Engagement Sessions

Between 25 June and 1 November 2018, engagement sessions were held with COSLA, ADES, local authorities, third sector organisations, teaching unions, faith groups, the Scottish Guidance Association and children and young people. This allowed stakeholders to look at the findings of the Thematic Inspection in more detail, identifying gaps from their knowledge and awareness of current systems and informing further consideration of the PSE Review recommendations.

There was a general consensus across all engagement sessions that HWB/PSE was not given the same importance as other curricular subjects. It was highlighted that having good leadership around the HWB/PSE programme is key to how the subject is valued by staff and pupils. Many felt the purpose and vision of HWB/PSE also had to be clearer.

The engagement sessions highlighted gaps and concerns around monitoring of young people's learning and development around HWB. A monitoring system that can be used effectively to secure improved outcomes for all learners would increase the status of HWB/PSE while allowing young people to develop themselves meaningfully in this area.

The importance of mental health education was highlighted as a priority from all the engagement sessions, in particular, the provision of counsellors in schools. There was broad agreement that specific counselling should be delivered by fully trained specialists, but it was also clear that this should not be seen in isolation and was required as part of a whole school approach. Teachers provide support in school throughout the day so it is crucial that counselling is delivered in a flexible way which helps support the mental HWB of all children and young people within the school environment. A broader range of options around promoting positive mental health for children and young people is required. In addition, mental health services need to be joined up across education to ensure children and young people are receiving the support they require.

"Schools are not concentrating on teaching us the most important things we will need for when we leave school. Many topics are not covered during PSE classes, in my opinion the issues that we don’t talk about or learn about are the most important ones that us pupils need when we leave school. These topics include: having children and raising them, buying a house and applying for a mortgage, LGBTQ+ sexual education … and also the deeper and less talked about side of mental health…"

(source: Young Scot online survey: October 2018)

Workshop with Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) and Local Authorities

The workshop on 25 June 2018 set out the initial high level findings of Education Scotland's Thematic Inspection. Participants were asked to consider the findings and provide views on the findings as well as their own experience of delivery of HWB/PSE in their own authority area. A full report[12] of the workshop is available on the Scottish Government webpages, the report sets out all of the views expressed. The attendees were overall not surprised at the findings of the Thematic Inspection and commented that within schools HWB is weighted differently in relation to literacy and numeracy. The main issues that were identified:

  • The priority and place of PSE in the curriculum
  • The role of a spectrum of mental health services (including counsellors)
  • Support for professional learning in PSE
  • Support for young people who want to engage in PSE
  • Delivery of PSE at the Senior Phase
  • Reduction in bureaucracy in delivering PSE content

Workshop with Third Sector Organisations and National Bodies

The workshop on 9th August 2018 followed the same format as the previous workshop held with COSLA, ADES and local authorities. A report[13] of all the comments raised at the workshop is available on the Scottish Government webpage. The main issues presented by attendees were:

  • Support for teachers and adequate resourcing to deliver PSE lessons
  • Engage children and young people in the co-design of PSE lessons
  • Consistency of PSE lessons, nationally
  • Value of partnerships with the third sector
  • Identification of needs of children and young people
  • Consistency, sustainability and availability of multi-disciplinary, national approach to mental health support, including counselling
  • Importance of teaching consent early

Third Sector attendees included:

  • NSPCC Scotland
  • Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in Scotland
  • National Parent Forum of Scotland
  • Girl Guiding Scotland
  • Barnardo's Scotland
  • University of Glasgow
  • respectme
  • Youth Link Scotland
  • Scottish Youth Parliament
  • Place2Be
  • Police Scotland
  • Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland
  • The Spark
  • Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH)
  • TIE Campaign
  • RCPysch Paediatric Liaison Network
  • Rape Crisis Scotland
  • Children in Scotland
  • Skills Development Scotland
  • Children Services Falkirk (multi-agency)
  • Young Scot
  • NHS
  • LGBT Youth Scotland
  • Joanna Tindall
  • See Me
  • Chair of the Expert Group on Preventing Sexual Offending involving Children and Young People

"The students will take more interest if it’s something they want to learnabout."

(source: Young Scot engagement session: November 2018)

Workshop with Teaching Unions

The workshop on 4 September 2018 followed the same format as previous workshops. A report[14] of the main comments raised at this session is also available on the Scottish Government webpage. All teaching unions were invited to the workshop, Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT), VOICE the Union and Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association (SSTA) attended. Overall, the representatives were not surprised by the findings and recognised the areas of strength, as well as the areas for improvement identified within the Thematic Inspection. The main issues identified were:

  • Consistency and status of PSE – develop qualifications for current staff and ITE learners to support this
  • Involve pupils in the design of lessons
  • Need to address the high caseloads of Pastoral and Guidance staff
  • The value of partnership working with the third sector to deliver targeted lessons
  • Counsellors in schools should be specialists and fully trained
  • Rename PSE to make it more understandable and relevant to young people
  • Strengthen the provision for senior pupils to assist them transition to work or higher/further education

Presentation to Faith Groups

On 20 September, officials from the Scottish Government were invited to present an update on the PSE Review to representatives of faith groups who sit on local authorities' education committees. The session followed the same format as earlier workshops. Overall, the general comments were concern on the lack of spirituality mentioned in the Thematic Inspection findings or in the PSE Review generally. A number of specific comments were raised:

  • The importance of spirituality in PSE delivery – not just religious spirituality but holistic spirituality e.g. mindfulness.
  • PSE teaching needs to 'holistic' to meet the needs of all children and young people – in the spirit of GIRFEC – so that individual children don't feel alienated or excluded.
  • With regard to the provision of counselling in schools, the role of the Church should not be forgotten here as they have years of experience in counselling people of all ages.
  • The role of the school chaplain in delivering spiritual wellbeing needs to be recognised as a resource to consider.
  • Need to ensure that Guidance staff are free to guide rather than teach.
  • Need to improve resources available for teachers to use to support delivery of spirituality in PSE lessons.

"People should always have a say in something like PSE which may have a significant effect on their future lives."

(source: Young Scot engagement session: November 2018)

Engagement with Young People

Young people's contribution to this work has been an essential strand of the Review's development. In order to gather the views of young people on their experience and thoughts of HWB/PSE delivery, we commissioned Young Scot to develop and distribute an online questionnaire to young people at secondary schools across Scotland. The Thematic Inspection undertaken by Education Scotland had highlighted good practice of HWB/PSE within primary schools and that delivery within secondary schools was a mixed picture. This informed the decision for this study to focus on secondary schools only. Between 10 and 23 September 2018, Young Scot gathered insight into young people's experiences and thoughts on areas including the delivery of HWB/PSE, pupil input into HWB/PSE lessons and topics covered in HWB/PSE.

401 young people responded. The final report[15], including the questionnaire questions, is available through the Young Scot website. The main findings can be summarised as follows:

  • Opinions on HWB/PSE were mixed, over half of the participants rated HWB/PSE lessons as somewhat, very or extremely helpful – with younger pupils rating the lesson as more helpful than older pupils.
  • Young people told us that HWB/PSE is not given the same importance as other subjects – this was more prevalent in older pupils' responses compared to younger pupils.
  • When asked why the subject is not viewed to be as important as other subjects the most commonly selected reason was that lessons are not structured, this was followed by pupils not being regularly asked for ideas on lesson topics.
  • Half of the participants stated that some lessons are delivered by external people, with substance misuse being the most common topic they assisted with.
  • The majority of respondents (81%) rated peer lesson delivery (by either senior or ex pupils) as somewhat, very or extremely helpful - this finding did vary between year groups, with S1 and S2 pupils rating this as more helpful than older pupils.
  • Planning for choices and changes was identified by around half (49%) of respondents as the topic that they would like to have an increased focus on in lessons.
  • In S4 to S6, 41% stated that they would like to see more options for accreditation in HWB/PSE subjects, with a particular preference for Volunteering Skills and Personal Development.

The diagram below shows graphically the main headlines from this engagement with young people.

Diagram showing graphically the main headlines from this engagement with young people

Source: Young Scot report: Review of Personal and Social Education: Online Engagement with Children and Young People: October 2018

Additional Engagements

Girlguiding Scotland

In addition, Young Scot delivered an engagement session with a small group of young people to examine the results of the Young Scot PSE Review survey in more depth and gain further insights and qualitative data to inform the Review.

Eleven young people attended the session, which was run in collaboration with Girlguiding Scotland. All the young people in attendance were female, from Edinburgh, West Lothian and Stirling. There were a range of school years represented, with two young people from S3, four from S4, two from S5, and two from S6. One young person was at university and reflected on her recent experiences at school. In addition, seven of the young people attended local authority schools, and four attended independent schools.

At the beginning of the session, the young people were asked for some brief feedback on their experiences of HWB/PSE in school. The young people's positive experience of HWB/PSE covered exam preparation, health, future job opportunities and substance awareness. When asked about what they would have liked to have been taught more on the participants covered financial awareness, politics, LGBT rights and issues and mental health education.

The young people were asked to reflect on the importance of HWB/PSE in school after looking at some of the results from the young people's PSE Review survey. They reflected that inconsistency, place in the curriculum and taught materials are a big factor in why HWB/PSE is viewed as less important than other subjects. When asked how this could be improved they reflected that a consistent curriculum and teachers would help, improved teacher training in HWB/PSE and relevant learning material being made available.

The participants were then asked whether young people should have a say in deciding what is taught in HWB/PSE. Overwhelmingly the participants responded positively, saying that involving pupils would make HWB/PSE a more valuable lesson that benefitted everyone.

Participants were then asked who they would like to see delivering lessons on specific topics. The responses were a mix of teachers, senior pupils and outside bodies.

Finally, the participants were asked about the most important subjects to be covered in HWB/PSE. Mental health and self-esteem was top, along with sex and sexual health. Fitness and alcohol and drugs awareness were ranked as the least important.

The session provided a valuable opportunity for a group of young people to contribute their feedback and ideas on HWB/PSE and their experiences as pupils. The group appreciated the space to discuss HWB/PSE and hear other people's opinions about it, and were often pleasantly surprised that the other young people in the room shared their perspectives and experiences. There was an appetite among some of the young people to have more involvement in discussions around HWB/PSE and to involve more young people in such discussions. One young person even asked for "a discussion about each topic already in the curriculum and how it could be improved".

Who Cares? Scotland

We also engaged with a care experienced young person representing Who Cares? Scotland. This allowed us to hear the collated views gathered from six care experienced young people on how HWB/PSE delivery and school counselling could be improved. Key points made were:

  • the need to consider provision of counselling through the school holidays
  • timing of appointments – so as not to clash with learning opportunities in school
  • consider the logistics of rural locations and
  • ensure that benchmarks and experiences and outcomes relating to HWB/PSE provide teachers with direction on the importance of children's rights.

Written Contributions

In addition to the workshops and presentations, a number of written contributions were also received.

Development Officer for Personal Support (retired)

Written comments on the Thematic Inspection report published by Education Scotland were provided, covering individual sections of the report, however the following issues were highlighted for further consideration:

  • Models for the delivery of PSE/PSD and also universal support in all sectors to ensure efficient delivery and effective outcomes
  • Support structures which incorporate the distinct (if overlapping) roles of behaviour support, learning support and personal support and ways in which integration would maximise the quality of support
  • Full-time staffing models for pastoral care
  • Partnership working with support agencies focused on the welfare of children/young people
  • The effective and efficient use of IT systems
  • Career-long professional learning requirements for both HWB/PSE and universal support, given the critical importance of these roles in the lives of children and young people

Barnardo's Scotland and NSPCC Scotland

The paper outlined some of the key issues that Barnardo's Scotland and NSPCC Scotland have identified, which reflects their priority work around Child Sexual Abuse and children's and young people's mental HWB as well as their work in schools across Scotland.

A summary of the main comments are provided below:

  • HWB does not currently have equal status or parity of esteem with literacy and numeracy within education
  • Improvement to PSE is approached though values and infrastructure throughout the school – a Whole School Approach
  • Improving mental HWB of children and young people must be approached holistically – equipping pupils with the knowledge and skills they need via PSE
  • Crucial that school leaders truly value HWB – not just as a subject but as children's and young people's lived experience of school
  • Need an effective way of tracking children's and young people's progress around HWB
  • Schools must reflect the values and principles that they are teaching
  • All school staff should be able to engage effectively with children and young people who need help – need a balance between the responsibilities of specialist teachers and all other staff
  • HWB curriculum should be engaging, developing and supported – minimum standards that ensure all key topics are covered early enough, at appropriate stages of age and development and that topics develop alongside and with young people
  • Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood Education should reflect age and stage to assist young people's development and space to unpick and discuss relevant issues
  • Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood Education should be consistent across schools and founded on the principles of gender equality
  • Development of guidance and counselling should reflect best practice in responding to child sexual abuse and child sexual exploitation – employing a trauma informed approach
  • Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood Education should reflect children's experiences online, supporting children and young people to stay safe and free from harm in their relationships, on and offline
  • School-based counselling cannot replace other services and should be delivered in the context of a Whole School Approach to mental HWB
  • PSE should directly address issues of mental and emotional HWB and be embedded in a broad curriculum
  • Schools should promote trauma-informed environments that holistically support children's and young people's mental HWB

Scottish Guidance Association

Following an engagement session the SGA provided written comments on the Thematic Inspection report published by Education Scotland. Specific comments were provided on individual sections of the report, however the following general comments were provided for further consideration:

  • Senior teams in schools need to value PSE
  • Share best practice already being delivered within schools
  • PSE should build resilience in children and young people by enabling an understanding that failure is a part of success
  • Guidance staff need more time/training to provide more effective support for young people
  • Importance of Mental Health First Aid training for all staff
  • Consistency in caseloads and contact time for Guidance staff

Engender, Scottish Women's Aid, Rape Crisis Scotland, Zero Tolerance

The above organisations provided written comments on the delivery of HWB education, providing specific recommendations that they would like to see encompassed within the Review. They view competent and consistent teaching of HWB as key to promoting gender equality and tackling violence against women and girls in schools and throughout wider society. Specific comments included:

  • A whole setting approach – education settings must embed the values and principles being taught within HWB, so that ethos and culture is consistent with curriculum content
  • Training - gender equality, tackling gender stereotypes, violence against women and girls (VAWG) and prevention of VAWG should be mainstreamed within pre-qualification training and career-long professional learning for all education professionals
  • Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood Education (RSHP) – elements of RSHP and PSE should be standardised and delivered consistently across Scotland and complemented with specialist evidence-based intervention programmes
  • Accountability – gender competent practice and presence of effective systems to respond to instances of VAWG should be included within inspection criteria
  • Strategic Coordination and Leadership – suggest a national working group is set up with a focus on preventing VAWG in early years, education and youth settings
  • Monitoring and Measurement – a consistent approach to reporting and monitoring VAWG in schools is developed and teachers and education staff are supported to facilitate this

Wider Policy Engagement

Throughout, the Review team have undertaken additional engagement with other policy teams within the Scottish Government. PSE delivery has an emphasis on the importance of wellbeing and relationships in shaping children's and young people's resilience and positive outcomes. As a result, it was necessary for the Review to be informed and linked with other main policy programmes who share the ambition of increasing resilience and improving positive outcomes for children and young people. Below provides further detail on the linkages identified.

Regional Approach – Six Regional Improvement Collaboratives (RICs) have been created across Scotland. The Collaboratives bring together and enhance local authority, Education Scotland and other expertise to strengthen educational support to schools. Following interim plans in January 2018, the Regional Improvement Collaboratives delivered more detailed regional improvement plans on 3 September 2018. The Scottish Government is providing up to £5 million directly to the RICs in this school year (2018/19), to enhance their development and support regional activities on attainment. We will also provide additional support to Education Scotland to strengthen Scotland's regional capacity for improvement and further support RIC activity.

Headteachers' Charter and Empowering Schools – Improving the education and life chances of children and young people in Scotland is the defining mission of the Scottish Government. The government believes that decisions about education should be made by those closest to the children and young people who will be affected. A consultation on taking forward changes through legislation including the introduction of a Headteachers' Charter was undertaken between November 2017 and January 2018. The outcome was that in June 2018 Ministers took the decision not to introduce legislation but through a Joint Agreement, published by Scottish Government and local government organisations on 26 June 2018[16] would deliver progress through collaboration and a non-legislative means. The joint agreement seeks to help empower schools and deliver consistent practice across all local education authorities to ensure that all headteachers are supported to make decisions in four specific areas as set out in the Headteachers' Charter: curriculum delivery and design, school improvement, budgeting at school level and staffing. A Steering Group, including the Scottish Government, local government, Education Scotland, the GTCS, headteachers and others was set up to take the work forward with the intention of producing new guidance by the end of 2018.

Getting It Right For Every Child – Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) is the national approach in Scotland to improve outcomes and to support the wellbeing of our children and young people by offering the right help at the right time from the right people. GIRFEC puts the rights and wellbeing of children and young people at the heart of the policies and services that support them and their families – such as early years services, schools and the NHS. It provides a common language and framework that helps people working with children, young people and families to think about wellbeing in the same way and tailor the help they offer to an individual's needs in a way that suits them and their family.

Getting It Right For Every Looked After Child and Young Person Strategy – This strategy, developed in partnership with the sector, is built on the principles of GIRFEC. It reaffirms our commitment to evidence-based improvements to outcomes for looked after children and reflects the things that young people, practitioners and carers have told us are important. At the heart of the strategy is the importance of relationships for our looked after children and young people and their right to care and protection where they are looked after or adopted. The approach is based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

LGBT Inclusive Education – On 8 November 2018, the Deputy First Minister announced that the Scottish Government accepted in full the recommendations of the LGBT Inclusive Education Working Group report. This included a recommendation to fully update the guidance document 'Conduct of Relationships, Sexual Health, and Parenthood Education in Schools (2014), to use a thematic outcomes-based approach and to ensure it covers themes relating to LGBT equality and inclusion.

Social Isolation and Loneliness Strategy – Social isolation and loneliness can be a significant factor in pupils engagement within the wider learning environment and can have an impact on HWB as well as an impact on educational attainment. PSE delivery is a key measure to ensure that all of our pupils are engaging and developing as they move through education, not just academically, but with the important life skills and experiences they need to build positive and healthy relationships.

The 15-24 Learner Journey Review – Published on 10th May 2018 it provided a review of education provision for all 15-24 year olds and includes 17 recommendations to ensure that learner journeys are as efficient and effective as possible. The report includes Information, Advice, and Guidance as a key priorities and included in this section is a recommendation relating directly to the PSE Review: "We will take account of the outcomes of the PSE Review, and consider what further improvement is needed on wider personal support". There is a specific mention of mentoring under this recommendation to focus on wider HWB support at stages of key transitions.

Key Messages for Young People on Healthy Relationships and Consent – This resource, which will be published in early 2019, will provide professionals working with young people (secondary to young adults) consistent communication tools on the topics of healthy relationships and consent. The messages can be incorporated into any work with young people – including PSE lessons.

Equally Safe – Equally Safe is the Scottish Government/COSLA led strategy for preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls. Equally Safe prioritises primary prevention and aims to challenge the existing attitudes that create the societal conditions for gender-based violence to flourish. Many of the actions being implemented under the strategy and associated delivery plan focus on children and young people and aim to increase understanding of consent and healthy relationships. Through education and early intervention, the strategy hopes to realise its long term ambition of preventing violence against women and girls before it actually occurs.

Young Women Lead Committee – The Young Women Lead (YWL) Committee is a programme involving young women from backgrounds that are underrepresented in Scottish politics. The programme began in 2017, and decided to take forward an inquiry based on the work begun by the Equalities and Human Rights Committee in their 2017 report on bullying and harassment in schools. Following the conclusion of the EHRiC's initial work in this area, the Young Women Lead Committee began their investigation into sexual harassment in schools, and over a series of meetings and engagement sessions developed a range of recommendations around sexual education, reporting mechanisms, and support in schools.


Email: Rachel Macpherson

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