‘I feel let down’

Back in September 2014, Girlguiding's young members made it clear that they want personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) to be a statutory subject

Girlguiding Advocate
11 Feb 2016

Now read our members' reactions to the government's announcement that it will not make PSHE statutory

Our youth advocacy panel, Advocate, strongly believe that PSHE should be statutory so it is really disappointing to hear that the government won't be making this happen. Yet, we will continue to give girls platforms to speak out about why they think PSHE remains so important. Here's a taste of what our Advocates are saying.

Larissa, 17, Croydon

'I feel let down. Our government is sending the message that the personal development of children and young people is not of any consequence.

'I was very hopeful that, as I near the end of my school career, my younger cousins and younger peers wouldn't have to trawl the internet for information (some of which may be inaccurate) on such important topics. I feel let down because young people deserve more.'

Charlotte, 16, Staffordshire

I am really disappointed by this announcement.

'As a sixth form student, I see every day that my peers are uninformed about subjects such as sex and mental health, which leads to unfortunate consequences that are frankly upsetting to see.

'Statutory status is vital as it holds institutions up to a certain standard. We'll keep on pressuring politicians to re-evaluate.'

Abiee, 19, Hampshire

'I feel shocked and sad about the decision made. It's beyond important that young people gain the life skills they need to do their best. Making PSHE statutory is important because all young people deserve this basic education.

'I am incredibly passionate about quality PSHE and SRE (sex and relationships education) for all young people across the UK.

I will continue to advocate for it to be made statutory. We cannot give up.

Annabel, 20, East Yorkshire

To me it shows that the government isn't listening to what young people want.

'PSHE is a vital component of education. Giving it statutory status would have meant that many more young people would have benefitted from it and it would have provided a real push to improve standards.

'PSHE is a platform for girls and young women to talk about body confidence, wellbeing, money and consent – a platform which is vital in today's society.'

Hannah, 19, Swansea

'For some, PSHE could provide life-changing information that will benefit them for their entire lives.'

School is not just about academic education - it's also about preparing young people for the world.

'PSHE is a huge part of this and there will now be schools who fail their pupils because they don't have to teach PSHE.'

Katie, 15, Edinburgh

'I feel hugely disappointed because the government is simply disregarding the needs of the young people in the UK. But to give up the fight now would be silly.

We need PSHE and we need it now.

'We will keep campaigning for the government to change this.'

Mathilde, 17, Cambridge

PSHE and SRE are so important to the lives of children across the UK.

'Statutory status would have ensured all schools taught PSHE and SRE, so the next generation would be educated in vital topics like health and relationships, which I believe are important in all aspects of our lives, be it at work or at home.'

Vicky, 19, Stafford

This is a huge loss to the education system. Young people will miss out on fundamental knowledge about their sexual and mental wellbeing.

'These are issues which we know concern a massive number of young people in this country.

'Girlguiding Advocates will continue to push for the introduction of statutory PSHE for the benefit of young people so that education about matters outside of the classroom is not neglected in the future. Something so important to the lives of young people should hold more precedence both in education and the operations of our government.'

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