Almost two in three UK adults agree Physical Education should be a core subject

Almost two in three UK adults agree that Physical Education should be a core subject in the national curriculum, new research conducted by YouGov on behalf of children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust has found.

The Youth Sport Trust, a national children’s charity which works to improve young people’s wellbeing through sport and play, has revealed the findings in the countdown to YST National School Sport Week (24 to 28 June) – re-enforcing its call for Physical Education to be a core subject in every school.

The YouGov poll found that 64% of UK adults agreed that PE should be a core subject on the National Curriculum, alongside English, Maths and Science.

The findings follow a recent petition from London parish councillor Eartha Pond calling for PE to be a core subject, prompting more than 15,000 supporting signatures, and an official response from Government.

Ali Oliver, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said:

Pupils are being taught fewer hours of Physical Education than they were a decade ago. Our recent analysis of all subjects taught in UK schools has shown that PE has faced bigger cuts than almost any other subject.

It comes at a time when the wellbeing of young people is in decline with too many struggling with issues that a good quality Physical Education could support them with.

“The development of young people’s physical literacy and provision of opportunities to enjoy sport, play and physical activity should be a core part of every young person’s education. We passionately believe that a transformed Physical Education should be on a par with Maths and English in the curriculum. This research suggests the majority of people agree.

The research, which was taken from a sample size of 2,071 UK adults, also found that 46% also disagree it is right to take secondary school pupils out of PE classes for extra tuition in core subjects like English, Science and Maths.

During YST National School Sport Week in June, the charity will campaign and shine a light on the importance of PE and school sport for young people’s wellbeing.

Between 24 to 28 June schools across the country will celebrate and promote how PE and sport are helping young people to experience the widely recognised ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ – being active, connecting, giving back, learning and taking notice. Anyone can take part in YST National School Sport Week by signing up at The charity will share key developments and provide free resources with schools and supporters to help promote events, offer tips and ideas for getting the most out of the week.

Follow and join in the conversation on social media using @YouthSportTrust #NSSW.

Published on 16 May 2019