Sport England launches £13.5m drive to boost secondary school PE

Sport England is launching a £13.5m scheme to train 17,000 teachers in delivering PE and sport in school, after research found that almost 20% of secondary students hated PE lessons. The Guardian reports.

With more than a quarter of the nation’s adults “inactive”, according to the Active Lives survey released in March, Sport England wants to ensure students are leaving secondary education with an active lifestyle.

Jennie Price, the chief executive of Sport England, said: “While some youngsters have a great experience of PE and sport at school, others don’t, and our research shows that can put them off being active for life. Lots of people have bad memories of being picked last for a team or just feeling really uncomfortable in PE lessons. This programme is designed to stop that happening.”

A third of pupils leaving primary school are overweight or obese, making it more difficult for secondary school PE teachers to ensure their lessons are inclusive.

Meanwhile, schools are under greater pressure than ever to perform in academic subjects, and a Youth Sport Trust survey found that 38% of teachers said PE time had been cut for 14- to 16-year-olds in the past five years.

Ross Myhill, the head of PE at Thomas Gainsborough school in Suffolk, one of 40 taking part in a pilot scheme, described the impact it was having, from training teachers to deliver activities such as yoga and handball to making the most of existing facilities through additional after-school clubs.

The school is running inclusive competitions for lower-ability students, such as a “Highland Games-style” sports day with welly throwing and tug of war. “These are students who have never represented the school [in sport] in their whole lives. They get to experience that same sense of pride, and competition,” Myhill said.

Read more Sport England launches £13.5m drive to boost secondary school PE

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