Sorting out School Sport and PE

Posted: Mon, 22 Aug 2022 12:40

Sorting out School Sport and PE

Nothing gets the sports sector going more than 'sorting out school sport and PE'

After initiating a brief discussion on LinkedIn by highlighting an article in the Guardian by Emma John I think we have a problem!

We know school sport and PE are in a bit of a mess. This is not through the lack of trying from many in the sector including the YST and AfpE for example. But the figures speak for themselves as the article highlights.

And for once the problem is not all about money. Thanks to the increased funding from the Sugar Levy into primary schools we can't use the lack of cash as an excuse. We support the view that the 'system' or lack of strategy and ideology is to blame. There are plenty of articles and papers available on the failure.

But the problem we can see in the LinkedIn responses is just how difficult it is to unify the sector around a solution!

It seems people too easily conflate playing sport or team games they remember from childhood as PE. The article originated because some team sports came together to call for more team sport in schools. Whilst I am a product of team sports at school and loved it we are all aware surely by now that this isn't the answer to our inactivity and obesity levels?

Physical literacy is not a few select children chasing around a football whilst those who don't make the team are left on the sidelines. We need a system that gives every child the basic physical literacy to move and enjoy moving! Sport and physical activity is not all about teaching our children how to lose!

Physical literacy is merely about developing the fundamental movement skills that all children need, such as running, hopping, throwing, catching and jumping. These movement skills in turn give kids the confidence to participate in different physical activities, sports, and games.

This is an excelllent resource from Sport Wales on what Physical Literacy means.

Don't forget many children are put off exercise by their experience of sport at school. We lose these children for a lifetime.

It is all too easy for policy makers in DfEE to get PE and sport wrong in schools when they get these mixed messages from the sector and some sports trying to look after their own short term interests.

Tags: DCMS, Featured, Sport England, Sports Policy, Sports Think Tank, sport policy