Enhancing PE provision and improving access to extracurricular sport in school

Youth Sport Trust CEO Ali Oliver responds to the new non-statutory guidance for schools.

The Department of Education today released new non-statutory guidance for schools. 'Enhancing PE provision and improving access to extracurricular sport in school', provides school leaders with insight into the importance of being active for the education and development of young people. 

Commenting on the new guidance, Youth Sport Trust CEO Ali Oliver said:

"The Youth Sport Trust welcomes the new non-statutory guidance. Children and young people who regularly access physical activity have better physical, mental and social wellbeing, while maximising PE and school sport can help tackle some of the educational challenges we face around attendance, behaviour and attainment."

At present, too many children and young people are inactive, with less than half (47%) meeting the amount of daily physical activity recommended by the UK’s Chief Medical Officers. This guidance provides school leaders with further insight into why being active is so important for the education and development of young people, and how they can unlock the potential of PE, school sport and physical activity within their school. As a youth-led charity, we are particularly pleased to see recognition of the importance of youth voice embedded throughout."

"Highlighting the innovative approaches many schools have introduced to embed physical activity into their culture, ethos and values demonstrates what can be achieved, and provides schools with best practice than can give them the confidence to create positive change. This includes elevating the role of PE to develop physically literate children and healthy learners, delivering a co-curricular sport offer providing opportunities for all children and young people, and ensuring that activity in schools is diverse and inclusive so no child is left behind.

"Giving school leaders examples of what works provides a pathway for progress, and we are delighted to see learnings from a number of schools the Youth Sport Trust works closely with incorporated throughout. It is particularly refreshing to see case studies from different settings which highlights that with ambitious leadership, every setting can be an active one. Bringing examples from alternative provision settings and best practice in engaging children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities to the fore reinforces that PE and school sport are for everyone.

The guidance rightly states the importance of equal access and the need for specific interventions to target individuals or groups whose participation rates are lower. Whether it’s stamping out stereotyping, delivering tailored activities in response to pupils’ needs or monitoring participation to understand where support is most needed, it is essential that schools can deliver an inspiring, accessible and meaningful PE and school sport offer for every child. Achieving this requires acting on concerns around PE kits restricting participation, adapting to reflect cultural and social differences and tailoring activities to encourage underrepresented pupils to be more active.”

You can download the full guidance here.


Published on 23 March 2024