Monday, 20 July 2015

The PSHE Bill

Young volunteer Pippa blogs about last week's PSHE Bill

Young members of Brook Blackburn's LGBT youth group
show their support for the #PSHEBill
Last Wednesday (15 July), Green Party MP Caroline Lucas successfully championed the ‘Personal Social Health and Economic Education (Statutory Requirement) Bill’ in the House of Commons [this Storify has the highlights from the speeches]. Her ‘PSHE Bill’ aims to make personal, social, health and economic education compulsory in schools across the UK. The PSHE Bill was passed with 183 MPs voting in favour and only 44 voting against.

You might have heard of this bill before: it was first introduced in the House of Commons in July 2014 but didn’t make it to a second reading before the election period began.

We’re overjoyed that the PSHE Bill has been reintroduced with such a large majority and with support from all sides of the political spectrum!

Unfortunately, later last week, the Department for Education dismissed the House of Commons Education Committee’s recommendation that PSHE should be a statutory requirement, which makes the passage of the PSHE Bill all the more important.

Next steps for the PSHE Bill

Young people in their second week of the NCS programme in
Cornwall get behind the #PSHEBill!
The PSHE Bill will now progress to a second reading in the House of Commons. This is an opportunity for MPs to debate the general principles of the bill before voting on it a second time.

2.       If a majority of MPs vote in favour again, the bill will progress to the Committee Stage, where it will be considered in more detail by a committee of MPs who may propose some amendments.

3.       The PSHE Bill (as amended) will then be put forward to the House of Commons again for consideration (the Report stage). All MPs may speak and propose amendments at this stage.

4.       A third reading will then take place in the House of Commons. At this point, no more amendments can be made by the Commons. MPs will quickly debate the bill as it currently stands, before voting a third time.

5.       If all goes well and MPs vote in favour a third time, the PSHE Bill will progress to the House of Lords, which follows the same procedure of first reading, second reading, committee stage, report stage and third reading. If the House of Lords make any amendments to the Bill during this process before voting in favour, the PSHE Bill will be sent back to the House of Commons for consideration.

6.       If the House of Lords agree to the Bill without making any amendments, or once their amendments are agreed by the House of Commons, the Bill will gain royal assent and become law (yay!).

It’s a long process with quite a few hurdles, but we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed every step of the way.

All schoolchildren deserve to learn about safe sex, consent and healthy relationships!

Thanks, Pippa - we could not agree more! 

No comments: