24 May 2012
John Bardens, Robert Long and Christine Gillie
Social Policy Section
The purpose of this note is to outline the current debate about the provision of sport and Physical Education (PE) in schools and to highlight recent policy developments and commentary in this area. The note relates to England only.
Since the Secretary of State for Education’s October 2010 statement, calling for a new direction in school sport, there have been some significant policy changes. In October 2010 the Secretary of State announced that the previous administration’s Physical Education and Sports Strategy was being discontinued and, therefore, ring-fenced funding for School Sport Partnerships (SSPs) was to end in March 2011. The Government wanted to encourage more competitive sport in schools and to give schools the freedom to concentrate on the improvement of competitive sport provision by removing many of the requirements of the previous strategy.
In December 2010, after some vociferous criticism from teachers, sportspersons and the Labour opposition, a revised DfE announcement stated that funding for SSPs was being extended until August 2011, and that additional money was being made available to encourage take-up of competitive sport.
A National Curriculum Review was launched in January 2011. Physical Education was initially included in phase one of the review, with a new programme of study expected to become statutory in September 2013. However, the timeframe of the Curriculum Review has been extended and the new curriculum for all subjects, including Physical Education, will be introduced in September 2014.
In February 2011 it was also confirmed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport that funding from the Lottery and the Department of Health was being provided to develop a new “Olympic style” School Games in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust and others. This was followed in January 2012 by the announcement of the Youth Sport Strategy, to encourage people to play sport for life.
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The previous Government’s strategy
The present Government’s strategy
2.1 The October 2010 Announcement and Reaction
2.2 The Revised Policy
2.3 Some other reaction
2.4 PE Teacher Release Funding
2.5 Youth Sport Strategy
2.6 School Sports Partnerships assessment
The School Games
School National Curriculum Review
4.1 Some responses
The previous Government’s strategy
The previous Labour Government’s Physical Education and Sport Strategy: PE, School Sport and Club Links (PESSCL) was launched by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in October 2002. A Guide to the Physical Education, School Sport and Club Links Strategy 1 was published in March 2003 to accompany the strategy.
The plan, supported by funding of £1.5billion from 2003 to 2008, 2 was to be delivered through eight programmes of Physical Education: Specialist Sport Colleges, School Sport Coordinators,...
Links: Strategy, 2003, p3
DCSF and DCMS, PE & Sport Strategy for Young People, 2008
Ofsted, Physical education in schools 2005/08: working towards 2012 and beyond, 2009
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