Alan Hynes: NCCA neglecting ‘spiritual aspect of wellbeing’ in new SPHE specification

14 Jul, 2023 | Church, News

The Catholic Education Partnership (CEP) has responded to the opening of the consultation process of the Social Personal Health Education (SPHE) Senior-Cycle Curriculum Specification by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA).

Speaking after the publication of the draft SPHE specification, the Chief Executive of CEP, Alan Hynes, said, “CEP is disappointed that the spiritual aspect of wellbeing has been neglected. We are confident that the NCCA will recognise the importance of this element at all levels of SPHE, as it already is in the specifications for primary and the junior-cycle post-primary. CEP believes that a consistency of approach across all levels is advisable.”

With regards to some of the terminology used in the draft SPHE specification, Mr Hynes said, “CEP understands what the NCCA are trying to achieve with the inclusion of ‘allyship’ and ‘privileged status’. Within Catholic schools, we believe that the ethical question of justice among peoples is better served by ideas grounded in the solidarity we owe to others as fellow brothers and sisters, arising from our common humanity. Within a European context, we believe the NCCA should have taken account, for example, of the Aims and Values of the EU. It is disappointing not to see European values reflected in the document, but it reflects the general research bias of the NCCA towards the Anglosphere, often ignoring our EU partners and other sources, in this case taking inspiration from the particular social and historical context of North America.”

Mr Hynes said in conclusion, “Catholic schools look forward to engaging with this specification through a Catholic lens, encouraging respectful dialogue and encounter with other points of view, informed at all times as to the essential dignity of all persons, created as we all are in the image and likeness of God.”

Read the full statement from the CEP here.



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