Friday 17th July 2015

The Government have delayed their decision on whether to adopt the 2014 report which called for the introduction of statutory PSHE education in schools.

Responding to the announcement, Sasha Daly, Head of Policy at Teenage Cancer Trust said:

We're disappointed to hear that the Committee's positive recommendations haven't yet been adopted by the Government. This was a real opportunity to safeguard young people's health and teach vital information on the signs and symptoms of conditions such as cancer. 

"Currently there is no statutory requirement for PSHE lessons, teachers don't receive training, and Ofsted have found that provision is often sub-standard. The Education Committee rightly recognised that all young people should have the right to receive high quality health education, and this view is supported by a range of leading health bodies. 

"The Government's own response notes that PSHE is essential to keeping pupils healthy, and that it supports young people to make informed decisions. We would urge the Government to look again at introducing statutory PSHE

"We won't stop working to educate young people about the signs and symptoms of cancer. Young people face big challenges in securing a cancer diagnosis, and their symptoms are frequently misdiagnosed.  That's why we've been working with schools and health professionals for many years to raise awareness of the common signs of cancer in young people."

Teenage Cancer Trust contributed to the Committee's call for evidence.

Teenage Cancer Action Week runs from 28 September to 4 October 2015.

The 5 most common signs of cancer in young people are persistent and unexplained:

  • Pain
  • Lump, bump or swelling
  • Significant weight loss
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Changes in a mole