Compulsory gambling education in UK schools with effect from September 2020

Beginning with the start of the next school year in September 2020, education designed to enable children and young people to understand, and avoid, risks associated with gambling will become a compulsory element of the UK Department of Education’s personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) curriculum.

The PSHE Association is working in partnership with GambleAware to support such education. Information on new lesson plans, tips and a podcast on gambling harm prevention can be accessed on the Association’s website here.

The PSHE Association’s website also contains a specific “gambling education page” which contains the below free-to-download materials that are aimed to (a) increase the number of schools addressing this issue and (b) “give teachers the confidence to cover it to a high standard through their PSHE education curricula”.

Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for School Standards at the Department for Education has said:

Many schools, through existing Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education, already teach about the dangers of gambling – including the psychological and financial impact, but I want to ensure every child understands the risks, which is why we are making Health Education – including issues such as addiction and cumulative debt – compulsory from September.

We welcome this development and have set out below the current content of the PSHE Association’s gambling education page.

Our handbook collates the latest research into how the curriculum can address gambling and identifies relevant knowledge, skills and attributes students should develop during primary and secondary education. This work is timely given secondary schools will be required to ‘teach about the risks related to online gambling including the accumulation of debt’ from September 2020, as part of statutory Health Education.

This new lesson pack includes two lessons for primary pupils (KS2) on:

  1. Understanding and assessing risk in a variety of situations
  2. Chancing it! Exploring risk in relation to gambling

Each lesson comes with accompanying resources and a PowerPoint to support delivery in the classroom.

Three lesson plans for KS4, helping students to:

  • Identify risks and understand how to make good decisions in risky situations
  • Develop strategies to recognise and manage impulsive behaviour
  • Recognise unhealthy behaviours in others and develop strategies to help them.
  • Understand the role and influence of advertising and develop socially responsible messages around gambling.

This set of four one-page briefings covers a selection of key content from the teacher handbook under the headings of:

  1. Considerations for visitors when working with schools
  2. Considerations when working with gambling education visitors
  3. Why deliver education around gambling?
  4. What is effective gambling education?

PSHE Association Subject Specialists Anne Bell and Sally Martin are joined by Dr Elly Hanson — an independent clinical psychologist — to explore current trends regarding gambling harms and young people, and offer insight into how schools and teachers can cover this topic effectively through PSHE.

 Watch this space for more PSHE materials on gambling-related harms.