uk education secretary says good grades are key
Last Updated : GMT 02:47:22
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Gove: studies reduce 'risky behaviour'

UK education secretary says good grades are key

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Arab Today, arab today UK education secretary says good grades are key

Michael Gove, Education Secretary, said new data would “shine a light” on standards
London - Arabstoday

Michael Gove, Education Secretary, said new data would “shine a light” on standards Michael Gove said formal sex education lessons may not be needed if schools can raise pupils’ overall grades across the curriculum. Addressing the Commons education select committee , he said there was a direct link between children doing well academically and their chances of indulging in “risky behaviour”.
Schools’ main responsibility should be to instill a sense of character, resilience and intelligence in pupils rather than teaching life skills “in minutiae”, he suggested.
The comments come after the Coalition dropped Labour plans to introduce compulsory sex education lessons in English primary schools.
Ministers are currently reviewing the content of optional lessons in personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) – which contains modules on sex and relationships – but insist they will not make it statutory or scrap parents’ right to withdraw their children.
Speaking to MPs, Mr Gove said he wanted to make a “deliberately controversial point”.
He added: “I am all in favour of good sex and relationships education and our investigation into PSHE is an attempt to find which schools do it best because we want to learn from them.
\"However, if you look at the way in which we can encourage students not to indulge in risky behaviour, one of the best ways we can do that is by educating them so well in a particular range of subjects that they have hope in the future.
“There is a direct correlation between how well students are doing overall academically and their propensity to fall into risky behaviour.”
Sex and relationships are principally taught as part of the optional PSHE curriculum. Pupils are also taught about aspects of the subject in secondary biology lessons.
In a contentious move, Labour said it wanted to make PSHE a compulsory subject by September 2011 – forcing all schools to provide sex education lessons for the first time.
Children were to learn about parts of the body, the facts of life and puberty in primary education, while lessons at secondary school would cover pregnancy, contraception, HIV and homosexual relationships, it was disclosed.
PSHE lessons also cover drugs, alcohol and tobacco, nutrition, child safety, personal finance and careers.
Addressing the cross-party committee, Mr Gove said he was making a “broader point” about the purpose of education, adding: “There is not an automatic relationship between, for example, teaching someone in minutiae how to wash their hands, and then more broadly inculcating character and resilience and intelligence.”
In addition to the PSHE review, the Government has also commissioned a wider review of the entire National Curriculum.
But Mr Gove said it was unlikely to lead to the introduction of compulsory lessons in subjects such as history, geography and languages at GCSE levels. Pupils in England can currently drop them at 14.
“There are others way in which we can encourage pupils to study these subjects, not least by investing in quality of teaching in those areas,” he said.
In further comments, it emerged that eight of the Government’s flagship academy schools had been put on notice that they must boost their standards or face action.
Mr Gove said the schools have been issued with pre-warning notices because they are severely under-performing.
It came after MPs raised concerns that a government quango responsible for investigating complaints against academies was failing to do so.

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