What is Personal, Social, Health, Careers and Economic Education (PSHCE)?

Schools, in partnership with parents, have a vital role in preparing children and young people to negotiate the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly complex world. Personal, social, health and economic (PSHCE) education is the school subject that deals with real life issues affecting our children, families and communities. It’s concerned with the social, health and economic realities of their lives, experiences and attitudes. It supports pupils to be healthy (mentally and physically); safe (online and offline) and equipped to thrive in their relationships and careers. PSHCE education helps all children and young people — the highest achievers as well as the vulnerable and excluded — to achieve their fullest potential.

In summary, PSHCE education provides opportunities to learn about :

  • Relationships: including developing and maintaining positive relationships and dealing with negative relationships. This may include learning about bullying, consent, how to communicate effectively, inappropriate behaviour in relationships and, at a later stage, topics such as sexual coercion and grooming.
  • Developing independence, resilience and responsibility: including preparing children and young people to face life’s challenges and make the most of life’s opportunities.
  • Health: including healthy lifestyles, healthy eating and exercise; mental and emotional health; drug, alcohol and tobacco education; emergency life-saving skills.
  • Managing risk: including understanding personal safety and online safety; financial choices and risks; appreciating the value of taking risks in certain situations (e.g. entrepreneurial risks).
  • Economic wellbeing: including the role of money, influences on our use of money, gambling, careers education
  • Employability skills: including learning about enterprise, business and finance. Developing the skills and attributes to succeed at work, including communication skills and confidence.

The knowledge, skills and attributes developed through PSHCE education combine to equip pupils for numerous challenges. First aid provides a good example of this in practice. Pupils can learn the practical steps (e.g. CPR) in PSHCE lessons, but also develop the confidence and awareness to put this knowledge into practice and step in when faced with a real-life medical emergency.

Why is PSHCE so important?

PSHCE contributes to physical and mental health and wellbeing, encouraging individual responsibility for health.

  • Contributes to the safety and protection of our children and young people, from staying safe online to understanding risks associated with drugs and alcohol.
  • Promotes independence, resilience and responsibility — preparing children and young people for future roles as parents, employees and leaders.
  • Supports employability by developing the personal and social skills demanded by commerce and industry.
  • Supports pupils to be critical consumers of information, and develops the skills to identify misleading news or views on social media and elsewhere.

How can I support my children’s PSHCE Education

The personal, social, health and economic development of our children is achieved through partnership between school and the family. To support your children, you could:

  • Research some of the topics covered in the timetabled lessons using the recommended websites.
  • Talk with your children about the issues explored in PSHCE education.

(The lesson overview is below, this gives an outline of the topics covered throughout the year)

Recommended websites and resources


If you have any concerns about PSHCE education or are worried about your child, do speak to their teacher.

PSHCE Topic Overview
Term Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
Autumn 1
Health and Well being Transition to secondary school Alcohol and Drug misuse and managing peer influence Lifestyle balance and unhealthy coping strategies Promoting emotional health in transition to KS4 Health and safety in independent contexts.
Taking responsibility for health choices.
Autumn 2
Living in the wider world Enterprise skills and introduction to careers. Rights and responsibilities in the community Understanding careers and future aspirations Understanding the causes and effects of debt. Understanding the college application process and plans beyond school.
Challenging career stereotypes and raising aspirations. First Aid (training dependant) Understanding the risks associated with gambling Skills for employment and career progression
Spring 1
Relationships Diversity, prejudice and bullying including cyberbullying. Tackling racism and discrimination, promoting human rights. Managing conflict at home and the dangers of running away. Tackling relationship myths and expectations Personal values and assertive communication in relationships.
Managing on and off line friendships Online safety and digital literacy Tackling homophobia, transphobia and sexism Managing romantic relationship challenges including breakups British values, human rights and community cohesion.
Spring 2
Health and wellbeing The risk of alcohol, tobacco and other substances. Mental health and emotional wellbeing, including body image Managing peer pressure in relation to illicit substances Exploring the influence of role models. How can we keep good mental health
Managing puberty and the issues of unwanted contact and FGM Assessing the risks of drug and alcohol abuse and addiction. Evaluating the social and emotional risks of drug use.
Summer 1
Relationships Self -esteem. Introduction to sexuality and consent Relationships and sex education including healthy relationships and consent Preparation for work experience. Challenging extremism and radicalisation
The risks of STI’s, sexting and pornography
Romance and friendships Introduction to contraception
Exploring family life
Summer 2
Living in the wider world Making ethical financial decisions Government and politics having your say. Reflecting on learning skills development in KS3 Preparing for work experience
Saving, spending and budgeting our money Evaluating value for money in services.
Government and politics Risks and consequences, making financial decisions