Academies Bill [HL] — Report (2nd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 7th July 2010.

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Photo of Baroness Massey of Darwen Baroness Massey of Darwen Labour 6:00 pm, 7th July 2010

My Lords, I, too, intend to convince this Government of the case.

I know that much work has been done on this already. I believe that schools are ready to take this on, and it would improve their chances if PSHE were a compulsory subject. I have in my hand 10 reasons why there is no need to delay, written by the Personal, Social and Health Education Association. Noble Lords will be relieved to hear that I am not going to read out the whole document, but one section says that we have had just a year and half since Jim Knight, now the noble Lord, Lord Knight, announced the last government's intention to make it statutory, "it" being PSHE, and that most schools will have been gearing up for statutory status during that time. It says that PSHE is not a new subject; it has been taught in schools and been allocated curriculum and staffing resources for many years. I think that might respond wisely to something that the noble Baroness, Lady Perry, said.

If we pass the amendment today-I intend to divide the House-it will send a clear message to the Government and to all parties that the welfare of children is at stake here. If a large number of people support this amendment, it will be a key message to the Government that this is an important subject that we do not take lightly. Let us go on from here and incorporate PSHE into all schools, through different Bills. Let us go through a curriculum review, but let us influence that review as best we can by showing today that we think this is an important subject that deserves our attention and our commitment. I wish to divide the House.