‘Beyond 2012 – outstanding physical education for all; Physical education in schools 2008–12’ is a report based on evidence from Ofsted inspections of physical education (PE). PE provides children with the skills to become physically literate, as well as introducing sports which can lead to an active lifestyle. This report explores the limitations of developments in PE including lack of knowledge in delivery and lack of focus on improving physical fitness. Due to this, the standards pupils are reaching from school are below expectations following the push in sports leading up to the 2012 London Olympics.
While Ofsted ratings of PE delivery have increased, with around two thirds achieving good to outstanding, there are examples of good practice to be learned from this to improve the standard across the board. Where there were limitations in delivery this was sometimes due to teachers lack of knowledge of the subject or how to plan assessment measures for it. Therefore, recommendations have been made in how to improve this through curriculum and qualifications, but schools need to monitor for when the quality is in need of improvement. More expertise is needed within schools to be able to judge this.
Things like playground buddies and sports leadership opportunities were found to help improve not only pupils development and wellbeing, but also their achievement levels. Within PE lessons there should also be an extended focus on fitness, raising the expectations on pupils so that they can show consistent improvement. Best practice in delivery involved this as well as long term planning to ensure precise and informed delivery with variation in activity and skills achieved through communication between staff.
The report also touches on the implications of physical activity and obesity, and has further recommendations beyond PE to tackle this, including communication between teachers and parents, and using this to get children involved breakfast clubs, and encourage healthy eating. As part of this best practice in PE was seen to involve personal, social, and health education, as well as guidance from local health authorities.
“Physical Education should be viewed as more than simply another subject area within schools. It provides a unique platform for children to develop skills, characteristics and attitudes that will stay with them for life.
This report highlights best practice that would enhance PE provision in most schools. However, it does not go far enough to re-position and re-prioritise the subject area as a keystone within primary education that can drive whole school improvement and deliver multiple outcomes for individuals, local authorities and the national economy.”
– John Bishop, Evolve Managing Director
To read the full report, click here.