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New Teacher Training to Target Attitudes to PE on Schools

Secondary schools to benefit from up to £13.5 million investment in workforce skills.

A boy and girl pass a rugby ball to one another in a school PE lesson
Free training is now on offer to 17,000 secondary school PE teachers to help foster a more positive attitude to physical education.

Up to £13.5 million is being invested by us in a teacher training programme, run in partnership with the Teaching School Council, between now and 2021, offering specialist training and mentoring for teachers.

In 2015 we surveyed more than 450 school and college students, aged 14 and above, and the results showed that 19% disliked or hated PE at school.

Further research also shows that a bad experience at school can put children off physical activity for life – with girls more likely to dislike or hate PE.

“While some youngsters have a great experience of PE and sport at school, others don’t, and our research shows that can put them off being active for life,” said Jennie Price, our Chief Executive.

“Lots of people have bad memories of being picked last for a team, or just feeling really uncomfortable in PE lessons.

“This programme is designed to stop that happening. It will help schools and individual teachers design a wider range of opportunities to increase young people’s enjoyment of sport and PE, which gives them a much better chance of being active in later life.”

This is the first significant investment into secondary school PE since 2008 and, while the training programme will not change the curriculum, it will build on and enhance existing good practice and support necessary improvements for all children and young people.

Fewer than half the children surveyed in 2015 viewed PE as a positive experience, with this programme aiming to improve the relevance and quality of pupil’s experiences.

And with only 8% of girls and 16% of boys at secondary school meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines of 60 minutes of physical activity a day – according to a Youth Sport Trust survey from 2017 – the training will work with headteachers and senior leaders to help them raise the profile of PE and sport in school.

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