Healthy, happy, safe: an investigation into how PSHE and SRE are inspected in English schools

Case Studies & Research
British Humanist Association
37 p. + 4 p.

This report analyses over 2000 primary and secondary school inspection reports for 2015/16. The report’s main findings are as follows: -SRE was mentioned by inspectors in less than 1% of reports and PSHE in just 14% of reports, fewer than almost all other established subjects, including history (36%), geography (26%), music (31%), and art (31%). -Mentions of sexual health, safe sex, and related topics were almost entirely absent from inspectors’ reports, with only 1% of reports referring to these issues. -Only 1% of reports mentioned issues related to gender, such as gender discrimination, gender stereotyping, or sexism. There were no mentions of sexual harassment or sexual violence at all, despite a recent Women and Equalities Committee report revealing the ‘shocking scale’ of such incidents in schools. -Consent was mentioned in just two of the more than 2000 reports. -Pornography, online or otherwise, was mentioned in just a single report, while ‘sexting’ was mentioned in less than 1% of reports, despite having been recently and repeatedly identified as a major area of concern by the Government. -Homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic (HBT) bullying was addressed in just 14% of reports. This is despite renewed focus by Ofsted on HBT bullying, and a 2016 Stonewall survey finding that 86% of secondary teachers had identified homophobic bullying in their schools. -There was only one mention of HIV/AIDS in all the reports. It referred to content on ‘emerging economies’ in a ‘geography lesson’.

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