Olympics chief calls for specialist PE teacher in every primary school and activities for all to improve participation rates

The Olympic legacy is being threatened by poor quality PE lessons and a lack of space in state school timetables for sport, according to Lord Moynihan. He has called for better teacher training and activities to inspire all to become more active. This is from the Telegraph…

Children are failing to get access to high-quality tuition – particularly in primary schools – because teachers lack the expertise to properly deliver the subject, said the chairman of the British Olympic Association.

Most primary teachers receive just six hours of training in sport at university or college, he said.

Lord Moynihan called for a radical shake-up of teacher training and told Ofsted to report on schools that fail to provide their children with enough sport.

He insisted that a failure to “provide a ladder of opportunity” for children was leading to an increasingly wide gap in standards between state and independent schools.

In a speech to the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, he also criticised Government plans for a “schools Olympics”, warning that it would fail to address the root cause of low-participation rates.

He said that a greater range of physical activities should be made available in schools – including an increased emphasis on dance – to inspire children turned off by traditional team games.

The comments follow those made by Lord Moynihan during the London Olympics when he warned that the overwhelming dominance of privately-educated sportsmen was one of the “worst statistics in British sport”.

According to figures, athletes from the independent sector accounted for four-in-10 medals at this year’s Games, even though the schools educate just seven per cent of children nationally.

Addressing headmasters in Belfast, Lord Moynihan said the nation was failing to “identify and provide a ladder of opportunity and performance pathways for outstandingly talented kids in the state sector”.

“The initial training for specialist physical education teachers needs to be fully reviewed,” he said.

“More than 60 per cent of our primary school trainees receive less than six hours of preparation to teach physical education and the Teaching Agency should ensure that there is an absolute step change in that.

“Ofsted should extend its remit and inspect and report on curriculum time for physical education, as well as out of hours sport in all schools… But the success of the games should be a catalyst not just for improved PE provision in schools, but it should be a call for a much wider healthy schools agenda and provision for youth in general and the role for competitive sport in its proper context.”

In August, a report by the Sutton Trust warned that sport was “not a priority” in too many state schools.

More at: Olympics chief demands overhaul of PE in state schools

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