Best Practice

Booking a PSHE speaker? Read this first...

When used appropriately, external visitors can be an excellent support or enhancement to PSHE. But how can you be sure their input is safe, effective and relevant? Anne Bell advises

They are often referred to as “visiting speakers”, but to see an impact on students’ learning we need external visitors to do more than simply speak – so let’s call them visitors to the classroom.

When used well, visitors can add interest and expertise to enhance your planned PSHE education curriculum. Outside agencies often have specialised knowledge, resources and personnel capacity which schools may otherwise lack. They are also a great way to introduce young people to important sources of support and encourage them to access that support if needs be.

But sometimes visitors don’t live up to expectations, or, however well-intentioned, may even contribute in ways that feel unsafe, or inadvertently have a counterproductive effect. It is therefore important to be selective about visitors and prepare effectively for their input. Below are some keys to safe and effective visitor input.

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