Publication - Factsheet

Schools: personal and social education review

Published: 9 Oct 2017
Review into PSE in schools, including pastoral care and counselling services, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
9 Oct 2017
Schools: personal and social education review

The review is part of the Mental Health Strategy 2017 to 2027.

It will focus on personal and social education (PSE) in schools and include consideration of pastoral care and guidance, as well as school counselling services.

The review will be in three phases and is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

Phase 1 – Review communications and initial exploration of PSE teaching resources

Complete. See attached document.

Phase 2 - Thematic review of delivery of PSE in schools across Scotland

A review of PSE delivery in schools has been undertaken by Education Scotland. They visited 20 secondary schools, 21 primary schools, 10 early learning and care centres, and 5 special schools with good geographical spread across Scotland. The review explored and evaluated:

  • the content of PSE programmes for children and young people from 3 to 18 years in Scottish schools and early learning centres
  • how these programmes are delivered and the quality of learning, achievement and progression
  • the effectiveness of the provision of the universal support entitlement and staged intervention for social, emotional and behavioural support
  • the effectiveness of pastoral guidance (including the roles of class teachers and pastoral care/guidance teachers) in supporting children and young people including what actions are taken to support onward transitions
  • in terms of health promotion, how positive mental health is encouraged, how issues are identified and, where they are needed, the extent specific counselling services are available for children and young people in schools, how these are delivered and their effectiveness
  • how the issue of sexual consent is taught within relationships, sexual health and parenthood (RSHP) education from early learning through all stages of school education
  • how learner engagement and co-design of PSE programmes is taken forward in schools
  • the extent to which equalities issues taught in PSE, teach children and young people about prejudice and promote an understanding of different groups of people

The Thematic Inspection Report has been published. 

Phase 3 – Analysis of findings and development of recommendations

We are now in Phase 3 of the review. Engagement sessions have taken place with COSLA, Local Authorities, Third Sector Organisations and Teaching Unions. We also consulted with children and young people through an online questionnaire. The aim of this engagement period is to identify gaps and to inform further refinement of the recommendations.

Summaries of the engagement sessions and a link to the children and young people questionnaire results can be accessed below:




Post: Scottish Government
Learning Directorate
Victoria Quay

Telephone: 0300 244 4000