A transformational three-year Government programme has resulted in thousands of teachers across England feeling more supported, more knowledgeable and more confident in delivering inclusive Physical Education (PE) and school sport.
New data released by the Youth Sport Trust (YST) has revealed that through the Department for Education (DfE) funded Inclusion 2024 programme, over 20,000 members of the school workforce were supported in the last academic year through training, networking, practice modelling, and information-sharing activities. As a result of these activities, pupils are also now achieving more active minutes. During the 2022/23 academic year, almost half of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) were achieving 60 active minutes a day, and seven out of ten were achieving 30 minutes.
Inclusion 2024 aims to increase and improve opportunities for children with SEND to engage and participate in physical education and school sport.
The YST were awarded the SEND Inclusion in PE grant by the Department for Education in May 2021, the aim of which was to deliver a three-year programme - named Inclusion 2024 - on behalf of a consortium of organisations including Activity Alliance, nasen, British Paralympic Association and Swim England.
The programme uses a network of Lead inclusion Schools to work with local schools and county school networks. ASK Research was commissioned by the consortium in December 2021 to set up and carry out an evaluation of the Inclusion 2024 programme. This report provides insight into the first academic year of programme delivery; from September 2022 to July 2023.
The main findings in the latest report are:
- The programme has involved over 28,000 interactions with members of the school workforce during 2022/23 academic year through training, networking, practice modelling, and information-sharing activities.
- Beneficiaries see a range of impacts on their practice from taking part in the programme and the vast majority would recommend colleagues take part.
- As a result of taking part, most beneficiaries have seen positive changes in how they approach the delivery of PE and School Sport (PESS) to those with SEND.
- Pupils are also now achieving more active minutes. During the 2022/23 academic year, almost half of pupils with SEND were achieving 60 active minutes a day, and seven out of ten were achieving 30 minutes.
Jemima Browning is a swimming coach and disability inclusion advocate, as well as an Inclusion 2024 consortium partner.
“Making reasonable adjustments necessary to cater for the individual needs of young people allows everyone to fulfil and maximise their potential. At Tadcaster Stingrays we acknowledge that improving swimming skills are important but we place as much emphasis on building friendships, confidence and the self-esteem of our swimmers. These are huge benefits that being included gives to young people with disabilities."
Jemima's brother Will Browning is coached by his sister and he recently competed at the Special Olympics in Berlin in a number of swimming events, winning gold in the 50m freestyle:
“I win medals and am fit because people help me to train and compete. I am sad if I can't do what everyone else can do."