PDL/PSHE subject leaders

PSHE and RSE teaching has a wider personal development context. Not only is it an integral (and statutory) part of the taught curriculum, it also has a vital role to play in establishing a whole-school ethos that promotes good physical and mental health and will be reflected in the school’s approach to developing personal development, behaviour and welfare; spiritual, moral, social and cultural education (SMSC), and approaches to inclusion and diversity. Together, with the rest of the curriculum, it helps pupils prepare for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences for life in modern Britain. In this respect, PDL also plays a vital role in the teaching of British Values.

Listed below are aspects of PDL/PSHE which should always be considered.


Primary citizenship education – This is non-statutory in primary schools but recommended in enhancing pupils' understanding of rights, SMSC, British Values and relationships education.

Secondary citizenship education – This is statutory for KS3 and KS4.

Further support for citizenship teaching can be found on the Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT) website.

Curriculum planning frameworks

Schools are free to develop their own Schemes and programmes providing they meet all statutory requirements as set out in the Statutory guidance for Relationships, Sex and Health Education (February 2019). The Hampshire Guidelines (2011) are still a valid resource to support schools in developing a programme, but should be supplemented with the statutory guidance and, for instance, the PSHE Association programme of study. The PSHE Association have cross referenced their programme with the statutory guidance and have produced a mapping document to support this.

Leadership and management of PDL, PSHE, RSE and health

As with all curriculum subjects, PDL requires key skills, knowledge and understanding to enable successful leadership and management of this vital aspect of education. This includes:

  • developing and maintaining robust, effective policies
  • developing robust and relevant curriculum programmes that satisfy statutory requirements and are tailored to specifically meet the needs of children and young people attending the school
  • policies and programmes take into account the local health needs of communities
  • assessment, monitoring and evaluation (as with all subjects) are fundamental to successful leadership
  • resources are of high quality and effective in supporting the teaching of all aspects of PSHE/RSE and health education
  • effective CPD is provided for all members of staff involved in the planning, teaching and delivery of PSHE/RSE and health education
  • ensuring all aspects of PSHE/RSE are shared with the wider school community, for instance, seeking the views of parents/carers when developing policies for RSE
  • senior leadership supports the effective planning and delivery of all aspects pf PSHE/RSE
  • leadership of PSHE/RSE establishes clear links with whole school ethos and values including how the school supports personal development, behaviour and welfare
  • leadership of PSHE/RSE establishes clear links between pupil health and well-being and attainment