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Training and support for teachers would enable them to deliver emergency life support. Currently, the British Heart Foundation spends around £800,000 a year on teaching resources, including mannequins, school packs, teacher supply cover and so on. It is estimated that it will be necessary to increase the provision of community resuscitation development officers, who are linked with the 12 ambulance trusts in England, by around five people to ensure that every child in every school is taught. With additional resources, the models could be successfully applied across all schools. There are over 3,000 local authority maintained secondary schools in England. The amendment aims to amend Section 84 of the Education Act 2002 so that this training becomes a community requirement at the first, second and third key stages.
I know that the Government can be much more prescriptive with the curriculum for maintained schools and I hope that they might consider adopting this training because that will influence the academies to take it up. However, I am well aware that the Government cannot be prescriptive for academies. Sadly, this is not part of PSHE at the moment. First aid training in the curriculum covers some parts of emergency life support but not emergency CPR, which is what can save lives. We could go from 27,000 sudden deaths in the community to approximately half that number if we spent a few hours on training all children in CPR. It has been estimated that the training takes only around four hours. It would mean that when they come across someone who has collapsed and is effectively dead on the street, they will know what to do.
Lord Elton: My Lords, I know that there are quite a number of people who, like me, should declare an interest in this, having been identified as a potential victim. I shall just tell my noble friend that he will have to argue very strongly against this amendment to stop me supporting it at a later stage.
Baroness Howarth of Breckland: My Lords, I do not have an amendment and I do not have a speech, but I have a question: how do we come to be where we are in this debate at all? The Government have made it absolutely clear that they have an agenda about well-being, particularly about well-being for children. They have also made it clear that, when findings show that children in our country are less happy than in other parts of Europe, they want to do something about improving that position. They, like the previous Government, have also undertaken that elements of PSHE are very important in the curriculum. With due humility, the Minister might do well to go away with those people who have long lists of amendments and talk them through. I do not think that the noble Baronesses, Lady Walmsley and Lady Massey, are likely to give up. We will get somewhere that way.
Many of the arguments I would have made have now already been made but I intervened to put one argument particularly for a group of children who, without this education, will not have any benefit in these areas-that is, very poor and vulnerable children who come from some of the deepest, darkest estates in our country and with whom I spend quite a lot of
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As the chair of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, I work with a young people's board. I do not give many anecdotes when speaking in Committee but those children often talk about teachers in school giving them some of the elements that help them hold themselves together through extraordinarily conflicted experiences in their homes. Teachers are at this moment attempting to give this kind of education. It needs space, skill and structure. I cannot understand why we are at this point in the debate because this is what the Government want as well.
Baroness O'Cathain: I support the Education Bill and particularly the determination to have a slimmed-down national curriculum. In the fascinating debate on Monday, the noble Lord, Lord Sutherland of Houndwood, was right to advocate,
In the same debate on Amendment 83, the noble Lord, Lord Knight, who unfortunately is not in his place and we know why, expressed the wish that children would get up in the morning wanting to go to school. The aim should be good teaching on core subjects that encourages all pupils to feel involved and indeed excited by a love of learning and increasing their knowledge. Maths would even bring alive the dreary subject of economics-I am sorry that the noble Lord, Lord Peston, is no longer with us. History could be expanded to show how social structures evolve, informing pupils on how to react to differing situations. What better way to develop good communication skills than to learn lessons from the best communicators of the past by studying works of the great poets, authors and orators?
However, Amendments 88, 89, 90 and 98 would take us in a completely different direction. As we have heard, their effect would be to expand the curriculum to introduce statutory personal, social, health and economic education for all maintained schools. As we have already heard this evening from the noble Lord, Lord Layard, PSHE is extremely difficult to teach. Now we have a situation: how can we have a slimmed-down curriculum and yet put in it more and more issues that are extremely difficult to teach?
Baroness Massey of Darwen: PSHE is a subject which, given the ethos and support for it in school, can run across all subjects in the curriculum. That is the focus for it. The noble Baroness is of course perfectly right about communication. However, it needs a core, even if it is a small one, of personal social and health education so that that core can expand into other
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Baroness O'Cathain: I am grateful for that intervention and the noble Baroness is absolutely right that all of that can be taught through the other ways. However, why are we going to duplicate and have a special core subject called personal, social and health education as well as insisting that it is part of the maths curriculum, the English curriculum, the history curriculum and whatever?
My greatest objection is to Amendment 98. If agreed, Amendment 98 would extend sex education to all children from five years of age upwards. I find this deeply concerning and even abhorrent. Many of us were very thankful that the previous Government ran out of time for similar plans before last year's election. Among other measures, detailed sex education lessons for children as young as five were proposed.
Baroness Massey of Darwen: I am sorry to interrupt the noble Baroness again. The noble Baroness, Lady Walmsley, is saying they were not and I will leave her to deal with that. What I would like to say-and I did say earlier-is that the curriculum should be appropriate to the age and stage of the child. I gave the example of not lobbing cricket balls fast at my two year-old grandson, but to start slowly. I should not mention the press but this popular newspaper thing about sex education at five is quite inaccurate. Teachers do not do this. Teachers talk about relationships and friendships at five, they do not talk about HIV/AIDS and all the rest of that. It is simply not true.
Baroness O'Cathain: That is a marvellous statement that is simply not true, because it is actually said that you want to repeal the statutory requirement that sex education is not taught between the ages of five and seven. This amendment would repeal that statutory requirement. In other words, if you are saying that you want sex education for five to seven year-olds to stay exactly as it is, I have no problem.
Baroness Whitaker: I support Amendment 98, in particular new subsections (6) and (7). We live in a nation of many cultures and several faiths. I declare an interest as a vice president of the British Humanist Association. These many cultures and several faiths are a huge asset for our culture, understanding of the world, trade, regeneration and enterprise-lots of things-but to realise these assets we need to be at ease with our fellow citizens, to understand their culture and their faith, especially when we do not share it. If we do not have this opportunity in school, we risk losing out culturally and economically but, almost more importantly, we risk increasing bigotry and prejudice.
Lord Sutherland of Houndwood: I have been mentioned. I have not resiled from the position I took on Monday and I continue to have concerns about the overcrowding
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I have reservations. First, I do not think that we do PSHE very well. We have already had mention of the fact that teenage pregnancy numbers may be falling but we are still the worst in Europe. STD admissions are rising among young people. Whatever we are doing, and we have done a lot more of it the last two years, we are not doing it well. I am not sure that legislating in this way will change that. Secondly, it is very much a delicate balance. Thirdly, one of the ways in which you try to deal with delicate balances in schools is by having an adequate inspection system. I am not saying that the one we have is good enough yet, but if there were an adequate inspection system one of the things it would ask is, "Is the balance of sex education in this school, in this community and in this culture right?". That is what you would expect from a good school inspection. It looks as if, in this Bill, many schools will be exempted from that kind of inspection and that is where I see the gap. I would be reassured about all this being written down in an Act if there were some way of ensuring that it were well done in schools. It is a delicate issue. How this is taught varies from one school and one community to the next and that can only be properly assessed by trained and qualified inspectors.
Lord Lucas: My Lords, I entirely agree what with the noble Lord, Lord Sutherland, just said. I would have said it myself if I could have said it as well. It is crucial that children learn these things at school. It is daffy to prescribe that individual items should be learnt. One should look at the outcome. The only sensible way of looking at the outcome is inspection. This Bill is setting out to destroy that aspect of inspection rather than building on it, so I am entirely with the noble Lord, Lord Sutherland, in my concerns. The only other thing I would like to say is that this is a great subject to be debating in this room, under a picture of a PSHE lesson.
Baroness Howe of Idlicote: This whole business of PSHE is almost written on one's brain because the argument for it has come up again and again in all the education Bills. Relationships are so crucial in everything that we do. I am very much of the view that it certainly does not need to be prescribed and in the Bill. I go along with the approach of my noble friend Lord Sutherland on this. Nevertheless, the whole area is crucially important.
I wish the noble Lord, Lord Northbourne, was here because when the previous Government introduced citizenship lessons, there was at last great hope that children would be introduced to the business of
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Returning briefly to the business of teaching religion, and what was said just now, it is crucial for all of us to know about the different religions in the world-and none. It is essential that we accept and know and are tolerant about this. One of the horrors in the rest of the world is that that form of tolerance does not exist. So we must do whatever we can in that direction. However, I hope that in the process we are not going to end up with ways that actually restrict the excellent work that many of our religious schools are doing. I am not thinking of these amendments but perhaps some that will come subsequently.
Baroness Perry of Southwark: My Lords, in response to the query raised by the noble Lord, Lord Sutherland, about inspections, as I understand it, Ofsted will continue to conduct inspections in academies and other schools as part of national surveys of particular aspects of education. I rise simply to say to our two Ministers that surely the issue of PSHE would be top of the list of priorities for Ofsted in terms of a national survey of what is actually happening. Its report would tell us what is really going on in our schools across the country.
The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, I should like to make three brief points. First, I join in the general applause for the noble Lord, Lord Sutherland, on the application of the law of diminishing returns in this area: the more you specify, the more you tend to lose. My second point may also relate to later debates. As far as possible in education, we should try to maintain one framework that covers all schools. There may be some adaptation in schools of different character, but it is in the spirit of our educational system to aim for a framework that brings a Church of England school, a Roman Catholic school, a Jewish school and a local authority maintained school under the same umbrella. We are one society, and it is important to make that point in our education system.
Finally, and perhaps more significantly, I suppose that a Bishop would have to comment on sex and relationships, but sometimes I think that people get obsessed with this area. Generally, the debate has been skewed too much towards it. I also think that linking sex and relationships, while I understand entirely why we do it-we do not want to disentangle sexual relationships from relationships-we do not want to get into the way of thinking that all relationships are therefore fundamentally sexualised as an outcome. I read Frank Field's report to the Government on children in our society, which is a serious issue. Surveys show that one of the things that children most want to learn is how to be good parents. There is something of a lacuna in these proposals in the area of what I would call parenthood, quite apart from the issues of sexualised
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Lord McAvoy: My Lords, all the contributions have reflected positive attitudes and have contained many positive words. The danger is that if someone like myself dissents from what I consider to be the main thrust of the amendment of my noble friend Lady Massey, they are portrayed as dinosaurs, male chauvinists and all the litany of abusive terms that suggest discrimination against women. However, let me declare my credentials from when I served in another place because they will totally contradict that kind of attitude towards me. I voted for the equal age of consent. I voted for civil partnerships. Even when there was a free vote, I voted for every single equality measure. It was not a case of being whipped to vote for something because the Government said so. I hope that if that attitude has been inculcated, it will have been quickly dispelled by my record. Perhaps I would carry more credibility with my noble friend Lady Massey if she took into account the fact that the Roman Catholic church attacked me for those votes, but as far as I am concerned, it establishes my independence.
"Subsections (4) to (7) are not to be read as preventing the governing body or head teacher of a school within subsection (9) from causing or allowing PSHE to be taught in a way that reflects the school's religious character".
Baroness Walmsley: I think the answer is that a school does; and it would be held to account for that by Ofsted and by individual parents. If individual parents did not like what was going on, they would retain the right to withdraw their child. Of course, in all the best schools parents are involved anyway in the design of the curriculum covering sensitive issues like this.
Lord McAvoy: I am delighted to hear the noble Baroness say that she supports the rights of parents. If parents send their children to a particular school, she will obviously support them in that, and she will also support them in ensuring that the ethos of that school is maintained, especially one of a religious nature.
When it comes to the new section in Amendment 90, the difficulty is that I maintain-I will no doubt encourage further contributions with this-that the common threads of the amendments are designed to minimise, damage and gradually remove the religious element of faith schools.
Baroness Massey of Darwen: I am so sorry to interrupt the noble Lord again but I think that he has misunderstood a great deal of what I was saying. I am not trying to damage the ethos of faith schools. I am saying that the ethos of faith schools may well exist but children have the right to know about other faiths. I was talking today to a friend from Northern Ireland who said, "Look at what damage has been done in Northern Ireland by people not learning about other faiths". I say no more.
Lord McAvoy: That is the second time that my noble friend has accused me of misunderstanding her. I fully confess that I have a very limited formal education but I do not have limited intelligence, and it is my responsibility to make a judgment that I see a thread in maybe one or two contributions from my noble friend, seeing as how she has introduced this subject. It is my opinion that there is a common thread to the amendments of the noble Baroness, Lady Walmsley, and my noble friend that are designed to-I withdraw the word "damage"-minimise or devalue the existence and practice of faith schools.
Baroness Garden of Frognal: I apologise for intervening on the noble Lord, but we have a group coming later that is all to do with faith and religious worship. I think the comments that he is making might possibly be more appropriate when we come to the next group. Given the lateness of the hour, we might perhaps let the Opposition and the Minister wind up this particular debate, but focusing on PSHE rather than the broader issues of faith.
Lord McAvoy: Very briefly, in response to the Minister, I have not said much different from my noble friend Lady Massey, so it seems to me a strange distinction that she is making. But if it is the will of the Committee that I shut up and sit down, tell me. It is? That is fine.
Baroness Hughes of Stretford: I am not going to sum up on what has been a wide-ranging debate; I just want to make a quick comment. First, I want to put on record my support and that of my noble friend for the amendment on PSHE in the name of my noble friend Lady Massey, and those in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Walmsley. Secondly, I was disappointed that such provisions disappeared from our legislation in the wash-up before the general election, because we were proceeding with this. Thirdly, these amendments appeared in our legislation following a
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Baroness Benjamin: I totally agree with my noble friend Lady Walmsley and I support her amendment and the amendment of the noble Baroness, Lady Massey. We need to teach our children to develop social and interpersonal skills and, most of all, to help them to understand what unconditional love is. We have talked about sex, relationships and family life, but lots of children do not know what true unconditional love is. They also need to develop a kind of strategy whereby they can think for themselves. Helping them to develop interpersonal and social skills will go a long way towards achieving that. That is what the amendment is all about.
Lord Hill of Oareford: My Lords, I will not be quite as brief as the noble Baroness, Lady Hughes, but I shall do my best. As she said, it has in many ways been an extremely interesting and engaging debate. At its heart, apart from a few outliers, it boils down to a judgment that one has to reach as to whether the best way forward on addressing these important issues around PSHE, which we all agree need to be addressed, is through the statutory prescriptive route or through a different approach by trying to slim down the statutory provisions and the national curriculum, and leaving more space and opportunity for more skill-words used by the noble Baroness, Lady Howarth-for teachers to give children and young people the support that they need. Almost my first debates in this House just over a year ago were about PSHE and faith. Whoever said how tenacious my noble friend Lady Walmsley and the noble Baroness, Lady Massey-with whom I have had many discussions-have been on this subject was absolutely right.
We know that in a recent report on the subject, Ofsted found that PSHE education was good or outstanding in three-quarters of the schools visited and that pupils' personal development was good in most schools visited and was outstanding in about one-third of the schools. However, that same report also found that there were weaknesses, particularly around sex and relationships education, and in some other areas that we need to find ways of addressing. At heart, therefore, is a generally broad agreement on the ends to which we are working but disagreement about the means.
The Government's aim is to shrink the curriculum and to leave schools and teachers more time to decide for themselves what to teach-a point of view that received a fair amount of support from a number of noble Lords. Teachers have said that they feel that their professionalism is undermined by the overall degree of prescription to which they have been subjected.
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We know that PSHE covers a range of important areas and schools teach it in a variety of ways. It seems to me right that schools should have the discretion to teach it. They know their children. Different schools have different circumstances, and different kinds of children will need different support from their school. Ofsted has said that the most effective curriculum model seen was one in which discrete, regularly taught PSHE lessons were supplemented with cross-curricular activities. That point has also been raised. We are keen to see good practice being shared with the minority of schools that are not teaching the subject as well. Our priority should be to support schools in their efforts to do better by their pupils. That is why we are carrying out the internal review which we have heard about, which has two main objectives: to consider what should be taught; and to look at how schools can be supported to improve the quality of all PSHE teaching. That may be a new element, different from the work previously carried out by the noble Lord, Lord Knight.
I completely understand the impatience of the noble Baroness, Lady Massey, and my noble friend to hear from the Government when this fabled review will heave into view. I have been saying for some time to the noble Baroness, Lady Massey, that it will be soon or shortly; I think it is very soon or very shortly, and as soon as we are there, I will of course circulate that to all Members of the Committee.
Lord Hill of Oareford: I know that the noble Baroness is keen that the review should be as short as possible and that she thinks that much of what it covers has already been covered-we have had that discussion before. I hope that it will start soon, and then aim to conclude by the end of the year.
On the points made about sex and relationships education, as part of our review we will determine how we can support schools to improve the quality of their teaching in this area. As I mentioned, Ofsted's report on the matter says that sex education is one of the weaker aspects of PSHE. This is perhaps a sign that legislation of itself is not a necessarily a guarantee of good quality teaching, since that is the part that is statutory.
On as emergency life support skills are concerned, I agree with the noble Baroness, Lady Massey, that equipping young people to be able to step in where lives are at stake is extremely important. I know that many schools, and organisations such as the British Heart Foundation and St John Ambulance, do absolutely brilliant work. My own wife is a trained first-aider, something which she needs for the work she does for Riding for the Disabled; so I know how important it is. That is one reason why we are so keen to review the national curriculum: so that the statutory content will take up less of the timetable, which in turn will
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We know that there are many things-and my noble friend Lady Walmsley spoke about them with great experience and passion-that pupils need to learn about and can benefit from. We heard from the noble Lord, Lord Layard, who sadly is not in his place, about the link between well-being and the ability to learn. Of course that is true, but attempting to define those things from the centre, and be prescriptive about what schools must teach, removes teachers' and school leaders' ability to use their professional judgment.
We had an interesting exchange about inspections. Of course the new school inspection framework will cover the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils. I know that the noble Lord, Lord Sutherland, was making a point echoed by my noble friend Lord Lucas about the frequency of inspection-we will come on to talk about that under later groups. We will also come back to discuss thematic reviews and the risk assessment process, issues mentioned by my noble friend Lady Perry of Southwark. We know that the majority of schools already deliver good PSHE education, which is not currently a statutory part of the curriculum. I agree that we need to look at how the quality of PSHE teaching can be improved and what its content should be; that is what our review will look into. I know that I will disappoint my noble friend Lady Walmsley who has clear and strong views on this, but with these comments I ask her to withdraw her amendments.
Baroness Walmsley: I thank all noble Lords who have taken part in the debate, especially my noble friend the Minister. He may have disappointed me, but he has not surprised me. Perhaps I may make a few points to follow up on what noble Lords have said. First, I turn to the Minister's response. The noble Lord, Lord Knight, achieved a very wide consensus, and that is why I took the three clauses from the Bill that was lost before the general election. The reason I took them as the basis for my amendments is the wide consensus that they had achieved among people who run schools of all faiths. I felt that those clauses struck the right balance.
My noble friend says that he does not want to be prescriptive about what should be taught. I do not think that my amendments are prescriptive. They talk about areas that should be taught, but they certainly do not set out programmes of work which, personally, I think should be quite spare and leave a great deal to the discretion and professionalism of teachers. However, we are prescriptive in other subjects. Before long, when the review of the national curriculum reaches its conclusions, there will be prescription about what children should be taught in physics, English, geography and all the rest. We are going to get that, so why not PSHE, too, which is so fundamentally important?
I would say to the noble Baroness, Lady Turner of Camden, that I understand where she is coming from in her comments but, as I have just said, these amendments came from her own Government's Bill which, before
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I was quite disappointed that the noble Baroness, Lady O'Cathain, could not support me. In order to address the issues that she and others of her opinion expressed when we discussed this matter before the general election, I made modifications to the clauses. I absolutely deny that five year-olds are taught the details of human sex. They are not. But it was in order to take account of some people's fear that they might be taught in that way that I made that area and one or two other areas of the curriculum I am proposing voluntary. Schools can do this in an age-appropriate way, as set out in the amendments, but if they do not want to do it, they do not have to.
Baroness O'Cathain: I thank the noble Baroness for giving way. The point I am making-I am finding it hard to speak because I am not very well-is that at the moment there is legislation which states that sex education cannot be provided for five to seven year-olds, but these amendments would repeal that. That is what I have been informed. If I am wrong, I apologise, but that is the basis of my objection.
What I am really saying is that we want children to be learning-ready. PSHE is not an extra subject that I am trying to put into the curriculum. I agree absolutely with the Minister that we need to slim the curriculum down. However, PSHE is not any old subject; it is a fundamental underpinning. None of us ladies would go around without foundation garments because they make our fashions look better on the outside. It is really important that children have the skills and understanding that enable them to benefit from all the
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I understand where the noble Lord, Lord Sutherland, is coming from. I would not want to load the curriculum with a lot of extra subjects, but he did make the point that we do not do this very well. That is exactly why I would like to make PSHE statutory. People would then train as specialists. As the noble Lord rightly said, without training, some of these areas are difficult to teach. I myself was thrown in at the deep end-many teachers are. I would certainly have benefited from training but, if that were a statutory part of the national curriculum, Ofsted would have to inspect it at every school level.
I am grateful to the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Chester for raising the subject of parenthood. As far as I am concerned, that would come into the relationships and sex part of PSHE. Parents have relationships between each other and with their children. It is particularly their relationship with their children that would be important there. I absolutely agree with the noble Lord, Lord Northbourne, and his passion for getting young people taught some parenting skills. That is very important.
Finally, on the voting record of the noble Lord, Lord McAvoy, I am quite sure that he would want to support my amendments. I reassure him that what he seeks would not be precluded by my three amendments in any way whatever.
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