Teachers need more support to nurture a love of PE and school sport

As new data is released today from the National Child Measurement Programme, the Youth Sport Trust has said more support should be given to teachers to help children have positive experiences of PE and school sport.

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

Today’s figures show that this generation is facing a health crisis as childhood obesity levels soar and children experience the lowest levels of physical, social and emotional wellbeing on record. More money is being allocated to primary schools to help cut childhood obesity through the Primary PE and Sport Premium but if we do not support schools to spend the funding in the right way, it will be a wasted opportunity.

By 2020, we want to see every primary school teacher professionally developed to help teach physical literacy with the same skill and passion as language literacy and numeracy. We know that for all the training a primary school teacher receives, they often get very little guidance on how to educate their pupils in and through movement, exercise and physical activity.

Our new strategy as a children’s charity lays out how we are making it our mission to support children and young people to be healthy and happy. Children’s first formative experiences of PE at primary school has an impact which can last a lifetime. Get it right and we will transform the life chances of a generation. Get it wrong and too many children will continue to miss out on the benefits that physical activity brings to their health, happiness and wellbeing.

To read the Youth Sport Trust's 'Believing in every child's future' four year stategy visit strategy.youthsporttrust.org

The Youth Sport Trust has also set out five goals to improve children’s formative experiences of PE and school sport for a generation. 

Using the Primary PE and Sport Premium, the YST believes it is possible to transform schools through:

  1. Every primary school teacher professionally developed to help children become physically literate by the time they leave primary school. (Primary teachers currently receive an average of just six hours of initial teacher training in Physical Education.)
  2. Closing the gender and disability gap which sees girls and children with disabilities much less likely to participate in school sport.
  3. All coaches working in after-school sport to have been professionally trained in how to coach children as well as how to coach sport, with the introduction of nationally recognised training and standards for coaching children.
  4. Two hours of PE on the curriculum at every primary school with a focus on sporting activities as a vehicle for self-development. This should maximise the potential of PE and school sport to improve children’s performance in the classroom as well as their physical, social and emotional wellbeing.
  5. An Active School action plan for every school ensuring 30 active minutes per day for every pupil through active travel, active playgrounds and active classrooms.

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