Government sets out new requirements for Primary PE
Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that competitive sport will form a significant part of the Coalition’s forthcoming national curriculum.
Team games such as netball, hockey and football will take the place of dance and other non-competitive activity, the BBC reports. The new curriculum will make it compulsory to take part in "recognised and recognisable sports" and will set out requirements for "team outdoor and adventurous activity".
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport publicised other plans including funding for youth sport, the upgrading of sports venues and the forging of links between sports clubs and schools.
Mr Cameron has indicated that he expects school teachers to provide sports activities outside of teaching hours. "The problem has been too many schools not willing to have competitive sport and some teachers not willing to join in and play their part," he told LBC radio.
Rationale for competition
Mr Cameron went on to say: "I would like to promote competitive sport - we need more competition, more competitiveness, getting rid of the idea of all-must-have-prizes and you cannot have competitive sports days. We need a big cultural change in favour of competitive sports."
Competitive sport teaches children that "life involves losing… as well as winning" Conservative MP Damian Hinds told the BBC.
The National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) warned the Government not to dictate the games that are played. Russell Hobby, General Secretary of the NAHT, said: "London 2012 has drawn the nation's attention to the sheer breadth of sports on offer and an enduring legacy would be to see the government promote these, thereby ensuring children enjoy participating at every level. The message is diversity."
Government approves sale of playing fields
Meanwhile, Ministers have approved proposals to sell a London school's playing fields, including six tennis courts and a football pitch, in order to pay for refurbishments to their buildings. It brings the number of school playing field sales approved by the coalition to 22, despite their supposedly being protected under the coalition agreement, according to The Guardian’s Education Editor. However, he points out that in twelve cases the fields were sold after schools were closed.
A Department for Education spokesman explained to The Guardian that the sale of the land at Elliott school in Putney is still pending final approval but that the sale would fund the improvement of indoor facilities, saying: "Sale proceeds must be used to improve sports or education facilities and any new sports facilities must be sustainable for at least 10 years."
The previous Government brought in rules that require the proceeds from the sales of school land be used to improve facilities.
The announcement regarding competitive sport in schools can be found at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport website.
Links to the current PE curriculum for Primary schools can be found at the Department for Education website.