Headlines: July 23rd, 2010

Ofsted inspectors have found that in almost a quarter of schools teachers do not have the expertise for classes in personal, social, health and economic education. Most schools, however, are equipping children and young people with the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and skills they need.

In a report today they say provision for this subject area was good or outstanding in more than three quarters of the 165 maintained schools they visited across England. In just under one in four cases teaching quality was variable and teachers’ subject knowledge and expertise were not good enough.

Some schools were struggling to teach pupils effectively about sensitive issues such as drug and alcohol misuse. In more than half the secondary schools visited by inspectors they found students’ knowledge of the social risks and physical effects of excessive alcohol consumption was undeveloped. A study programme to improve economic well-being and capability, introduced in 2008, was not yet well established.

The inspectors say teaching of PSHE education is most effective in schools which have discrete, regularly taught lessons supplemented by activities across other subjects. The better schools, they say, provided interesting extra-curricular activities, such as music and drama productions, school councils and residential visits. Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert said schools should continue to promote professional development in PSHE education so teachers could strengthen their knowledge and skills.