The Youth Sport Trust is today welcoming the findings of a new Ofsted report that highlights the impact that School Sport Partnerships [SSPs] have had in using sport to engage pupils across the curriculum.
The 'Learning lessons from School Sport Partnerships' report, a survey of good practice, shows that by offering a wide range of activities, from boxing to basketball, to fencing and dance, schools raise participation and competition in sport. It shows that collaborative planning can increase the capacity of schools to improve PE and sport. Inspectors also found effective use of the 2012 Olympics boosted pupils' interest in learning and academic achievement.
The report also says schools should build strong partnerships with sports clubs, community groups and other local organisations to stimulate participation and competition in the variety of PE and sports on offer and engage children at risk of adopting unhealthy lifestyles.
Baroness Sue Campbell, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said:
"This report demonstrates the incredible impact that sport can have on the lives of young people and the creative ways that schools have used sport to engage their pupils.
"SSP's have been extremely successful and all those involved should be immensely proud of their achievements. However, we are living in very different and difficult financial times and this has clearly impacted on school sport in recent months.
"The Youth Sport Trust has been working closely with the Government to ensure that as much best practice from the SSP network, as well as the great people out there, is retained to help deliver the School Games, the Government's new initiative to increase the competitive sporting opportunities for young people."
In the School Sport Partnerships inspected by Ofsted, strong partnerships were built between schools, local authorities, leisure services, sports organisations and local clubs who worked jointly to increase the quantity and quality of PE and sports activities. Inspectors also found good examples of School Sport Partnerships providing a range of breakfast and after-school clubs in activities such as kick-boxing, squash, and rugby. School Sport Partnerships regularly brought in specialist coaches to develop pupils as junior leaders in sports such as gymnastics and provide practical support for teachers.
The values of the 2012 Olympics were used to stimulate pupils' interest in learning and motivate children to boost their academic achievement. City Academy School Sport Partnership (Bristol) used PE and sport to engage children in mathematics, running an 'Olympic SATs booster programme' during the school holidays and organising practical Olympic-themed mathematical problems to help boost pupils' academic achievement.
Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert, said:
"This report shows that where secondary, primary and special schools can work together they can increase the quality and quantity of PE and sports opportunities on offer for young people. Partnership in teaching and leadership can have a positive impact on both pupils' participation in PE and sports and their overall performance at school."