Lifeskills is back I this time it means business

28th September 2001 at 01:00
Head of Lifeskills Faculty Upbury Manor School, Gillingham, Kent

In the past, Lifeskills was reserved for recalcitrant boys and teachers who had an uncanny ability to motivate the most difficult pupils.

Lifeskills was vocational - survival cooking, household maintenance, sex education and consumer law. Then, in a bid to rebadge it, schools named the subject PSE - Personal and Social Education. Teachers would recoil in horror from the PSE co-ordinator, terrified - and often justifiably - that they might be given something real to teach.

PSE - later renamed PSHE and then PSHCE - was usually awful, with frantic teachers trying to deliver drugs education to kids who knew far more about the subject.

So it's heartening that the world has come full circle and schools feel free to use the name Lifeskills - even for a faculty! Upbury Manor has almost recreated the old grouping. Careers is there and PSHCE, but Business Studies has been added, perhaps to add extra academic respectability.

Citizenship is also featured because the Government is keen on civic duty. A vision of Year 11 debating monetary policy doesn't readily spring to mind, but perhaps I should be more positive. Good luck - and don't forget the condoms.

You can contact the school on 01634 852341

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