accessibility & help

British Red Cross welcomes compulsory PSHE but highlights challenges ahead

06 November 2009
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Henry Makiwa
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The British Red Cross welcomes the government’s announcement that Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) is to become a statutory subject from September 2011.
The government’s announcement underlines the concerted efforts by the British Red Cross which has been advocating for first aid to be a compulsory part of the schools curriculum through its Life. Live it. campaign.

Liz Brunwin, the Red Cross Life. Live it. project manager, “In particular we are delighted to see that the proposed curriculum for English primary schools includes a knowledge of some basic first aid for the first time. The British Red Cross firmly believes that first aid education is essential for all children and young people to equip them with life saving skills– and it’s never too early to learn.”

First aid has been included on the secondary school curriculum since September 2008, within the Personal Wellbeing aspect of the PSHE curriculum, thanks in part to campaigning by the British Red Cross. However until the government’s announcement to change PSHE to a statutory subject, schools have not been required to teach it.

But whilst the Red Cross welcome this change, it recognises that many schools will need help to prepare for the new curriculum before September 2011.

Liz explains, “Our recent survey of PSHE teachers in secondary schools  showed that despite overwhelming support from teachers that first aid should be taught in schools, a quarter of all schools across the UK had not yet taken steps to do so. This will now have to change and we look forward to working even more closely with schools to help them approach the subject with confidence”.

The Red Cross already provide a Life. Live it. First aid education kit for teachers, to enable them to deliver first aid education to Key Stage 3 and 4 students.

Notes to editors
British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.

We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.