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Secondary School Compliance in the Curriculum

We know! Not only do you have to create content, deliver it and promote engagement, but you also have to make sure that your PSHE schedule is compliant with the law and covers all things requested by the government.


The pressures on a PSHE teacher not only to deliver, but also to understand what is required by law, can only add to an already over-stressed environment that so often goes unrecognised and unrewarded


The Department of Education guidance on PSHE 'makes it clear' that it is largely up to schools to determine what is taught, with teachers "best placed to understand the needs of their pupils" but elements of this guidance falls into legal requirements that cause anxiety in many teachers.

What compounds these anxieties is a very vague, although be it broad guidance framework, where each individual school has to somehow make sense and incorporate sensitive issues into their curriculum.


Welcome to PSHE!

8 - Point Checklist  Government Guidance

At Secondary school level, the guidance says the teaching should build on primary learning with 'a focus on enabling pupils to make well-informed, positive choices for themselves. Pupils should be taught the following eight things:

Compliance 1
The Changing Adolescent Body

Lesson plans would include:

  • Key facts about puberty

  • The changing adolescent body

  • Menstrual wellbeing

  • Main changes that take place in males and females

  • The implications for emotional and physical health

Compliance 2
Mental Wellbeing

This should include:


  • How to talk about emotions

  • That happiness is linked to being connected to others

  • How to recognise the early signs of mental wellbeing problems

  • Common types of mental ill health

  • The positive and negative impact of various activities on mental health

Compliance 3
Internet Safety and Harms

Pupils should be informed of the dangers of the internet Including:


  • The similarities and differences of the online and offline worlds

  • How to identify harmful behaviours online

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Compliance 4
Physical Health and Fitness

Pupils would be informed on healthy lifestyles including:


  • The positive impact of physical fitness on mental wellbeing

  • What constitutes a healthy lifestyle and the impact of an inactive lifestyle

  • Facts about wider issues such as organ and blood donation

Compliance 5
Healthy Eating

Lesson plans should include nutritional information as part of the teaching including:


  • How to maintain a healthy diet

  • Health risks associated with unhealthy eating

Compliance 6
Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco

With the ever-growing dangers and implications of involvement with drugs, the teaching needs to include:

  • The facts about legal substances and illegal substances

  • The associated risks

  • The law relating to the supply and possession of illegal substances

  • The risks of alcohol consumption and what constitutes (relatively) safe consumption

  • The consequences of addiction

  • The dangers of smoking tobacco, particularly lung cancer

Compliance 7
Health and Prevention

Children should be taught about the characteristics and benefits of a healthy lifestyle and the importance of exercise. They should also be informed of the dangers and the negative impact that an inactive lifestyle will have.

Schemes of work should include:

  • Personal hygiene and germs

  • The importance of dental health

  • The importance of sleep

  • The importance of self-examination (late secondary)

Compliance 8
Basic First Aid

What is your definition of entry - level as your class should be taught entry-level first aid including knowledge and evidence that they can call the emergency services, maybe through role play, whilst also being able to deal with common injuries.

It will be important for you to define a common injury as no clear guidance is given to this within the report.

  • Common injuries

  • Life-saving skills

  • Including CPR and the purpose of defibrillators

Providing you are covering the above compliance topics within your PSHE schedule, then you are satisfying the needs of the most recent government PSHE Guidelines.


Teacher Connect is committed not only to supporting you within these guidelines, but also providing a communication vehicle through our mobile app where teachers can communicate with each other to seek support or just share your activities with others.

Full Government Guidance

We hope you have found the 8-point checklist overview helpful as a guide to your PSHE schedules. These points highlight the main categories of topics that should be covered within lessons.

If you need a more comprehensive view of the guidelines you can access them by clicking the button below.

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