Responding to new guidelines from the government on the introduction of new subjects to the curriculum, Stuart Kay Schools Director at the Youth Sport Trust, said:
“The Youth Sport Trust welcomes the Government’s focus on physical health and how it links to young people’s overall wellbeing at a time when childhood obesity is at the highest rate it has ever been, and we face a generation of children who, for the first time, are set to have a life expectancy lower than the previous generation. We also welcome the focus on mental health at a time when 1 in 10 children have a diagnosable mental health condition. However, care needs to be taken in making sure that what we are teaching children is age appropriate.
We believe PE and school sport are crucial in complementing a broader education around health and forming lasting and healthy relationships. In many of the Youth Sport Trust’s member schools, leaders have already taken the brave step to combine PSHE and PE provision to help mutually support each other’s principles and objectives. In some cases, schools have renamed their PE departments, Departments of Health and Wellbeing.
“We at Youth Sport Trust welcome this brave step and continue to call for our members and the sector at large to reconsider the importance and intent of PE as a lever for improving understanding about physical health and mental health, and as a subject which can support wellbeing when this is in drastic decline.”