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  • Comments: 0
  • 20 June 2014 00:00
  • in Education
  • Visits: 1759
  • Last Modified: 20 June 2014 04:27
  • (Current Rating 5.0/5 Stars) Total Votes: 20

Ofsted report "a wake-up" call for schools on the importance of PE and competitive sport

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A major Ofsted report on sport in schools has been described as a "wake-up call” for those that fail to take PE and competitive sport seriously.

Ofsted’s Going the extra mile report studied the levels of competitive sport offered in independent and state schools and considered why there is a disproportionately high number of elite senior athletes that began their careers from a private schooling background. 

It also highlighted a varying level of competitive sport being offered in state schools, describing the findings as ‘mixed’. 

The key recommendation in the report states that: "Maintained schools and academies should recognise the wider benefits that competitive sport can bring to their school and students. They should learn from the schools that teach PE and coach sport well and put in place the conditions to enable competitive school sport to thrive."

"Children enjoy competition," said Sir Michael Wilshaw, the head of Ofsted and the Chief Inspector of Schools in England.

"It pushes them to do better and try harder.

"Of course, it also carries with it the risk of defeat, but how better to prepare pupils for the setbacks that life will inevitably throw at them?

"Not every child can or will go on to become a world champion, but every child will experience victories and defeats.

"And every student, wherever they are educated, deserves the opportunity to 
have their sporting passion identified and nurtured."

Whist some schools had a ‘weak’ competitive sport offer, those that took it seriously were more likely to have high academic attainment and to be judged good or outstanding in their last full section 5 Ofsted inspection.

The report also highlighted the fact that independent schools have consistently provided the launch pad for many elite athletes to excel but showed that state schools have the ability to be just as effective in developing stars of the future.

"Regrettably, although some of our state schools are good at developing the talents of the next generation of Mo Farahs, not enough are," said Sir Michael.

"Outside of football, a disproportionately high number of athletes and tennis, rugby union and cricket players honed their talent on the fields and in the sports halls of England’s independent schools.

"This comes as no surprise when you look at the central role sport plays in these institutions. 

"In independent schools, competitive sport isn’t an optional extra; it’s a key component in building self-esteem, confidence, school ethos and academic excellence.

"The drive to compete and excel in sport shapes a youngster’s character, binds the 
school together and reinforces the drive to compete and excel academically.

"Of course, many independent schools enjoy financial advantages not available to their state-funded cousins. 

"As this report makes clear, it is not resource that is the key to independent school success but attitude. 

"Children are expected to compete, train and practise secure in the knowledge that teachers will go the extra mile to help them."

Leading independent children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust warned that the findings must be taken seriously. 

"The findings from this report highlight a worrying inconsistency in the provision of competitive sport being offered in state schools,” said Youth Sport Trust CEO John Steele. 

"It is encouraging however, to see that where state schools take competitive sport seriously there is a clear correlation to academic attainment. 

"Not only does PE and competitive sport build confidence and self esteem, it plays an integral role in boosting academic achievement across all areas of education. 

"This report should be a wake-up call for those schools that do not fully value its place in school life.”

To read the full Ofsted report, Click Here

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