Chess ‘should be part of the curriculum’

Chess should be included in the national curriculum, according to MPs in an all-party group, as studies suggest that teaching children at a young age could be an aid to concentration, logical thinking, numeracy and social interaction. This is from the Telegraph

Yasmin Qureshi, MP for Bolton South-East, said that while chess has been traditionally associated with private schools, it should be embraced in all state primary schools as part of the curriculum and should also be categorised as a sport, to allow access to funding.

Speaking in Westminster, at the Yes2Chess parliamentary reception yesterday, Ms Qureshi highlighted the benefits of chess for children saying: “The skills involved in playing chess are actually skills that a lot of young people can benefit from learning, especially children who have problems with attention and hyperactivity.”

“The group is hoping to raise awareness of chess as a great learning tool, but we are also working closely with Chess in Schools and Communities to get chess into all schools – but primary schools especially.”

Yes2Chess, a new Internet chess community for primary schoolchildren, offers pupils the opportunity to play chess online.

This year – the first year of the partnership between Barclaycard and UK charity, Chess in Schools and Communities – saw eight countries take part, with 22,000 participants from over 400 schools…

Malcolm Pein, the Telegraph’s chess columnist and chief executive of Chess in Schools and Communities, says that, while it doesn’t need to be made a compulsory part of the curriculum, chess should be accessible to every child.

“All children should have the opportunity to play chess for one hour a week at primary school. Chess can improve concentration, numeracy and ability in problem solving, but it also helps social development.

“Children have to take turns; they learn how to lose as well as how to win; and we make sure every game starts and ends with a handshake.”

In April, Hank Roberts, former president of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, called for all pupils to be given compulsory lessons in chess for at least one term, as current figures suggest that fewer than one-in-10 pupils in state schools get access to chess at school…

More at: Chess ‘should be part of the curriculum’

This idea seems to get proposed every few months – how viable is it and would you support a move to have all children taught chess, even if for just one term? Please let us know why/why not in the comments or via Twitter…

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Categories: Primary.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Seriously, what is Westminster’s obsession with chess? A noble game, but that’s it. It shouldn’t be part of the curriculum

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Quite – if they gave a solid argument for what it should replace, it might be worth listening, but they don’t. Hopeless

  3. jennabrowne1

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove maybe if they played more of it in their ivory tower then they would stop coming up with daft policies 🙂

  4. Aveda

    I find it worrying that MP’s still don’t realise that the National Curriculum has been largely side-lined under Gove with the growth of Academies and Free Schools. 
    Gove himself has said that if the Tories are in power after 2015 this will be the end of the NC.  Why don’t MP’s know this, or fight to keep it?

  5. candacemccolgan

    WarrenDockter SchoolsImprove JohnHellins Chess in Schools & Barclaycard. Cl4 think chess & Mr Jackson (Int Chess Master) are epic!

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