PE Not Physical Enough Say Ofsted

A recent Ofsted report has found that many PE lessons in schools are not ‘physical enough,’ particularly in primary schools. The report found that

in primary schools

  • PE lessons have improved over the last 4 years
  • sometimes,  teachers do not have the expertise to teach PE well
  • most primary schools have lots of extra-curricular sports activities
  • sometimes, pupils who are gifted in PE are not challenged enough.

in secondary schools

  • the majority of PE lessons are at least good
  • pupils who were doing Key Stage 4 qualifications in PE generally do well
  • most secondary schools have good extra-curricular sports activities
  • sometimes, pupils who are gifted in PE are not challenged enough.

How does this affect your choice of school?

  • If your child excels in sports, it might be worth looking at a specialist sports college. Some sports colleges take their specialism seriously and train their pupils to a professional standard.
  • If your child excels in a particular sporting area, for example dance, it is worth seeking out the head of department for that subject at the open evening, looking at the exam results for that subject in the prospectus, and investigating how many dance students go on to specialise in dance after they have left the school.
  • If your child does not excel in traditional sports, look to see how diverse the provision is.  As referenced in the Ofsted report, some schools are creative about the sports they offer, for example golf, cycling, or street dance.
  • Your child might be good at sports, interested in pursing a career related to sports, but not necessarily have the prowess to be an elite sports person.  If this is the case, investigate whether the school participates in sports leaders’ schemes. These can give pupils good preparation for training and working with others.
  • Do not judge sports at the school by how you remember PE at school. In most secondary schools, things are very different. There is no longer a sadistic head of PE, and a method of choosing hockey teams which always leaves the weaker players un-chosen.
  • Secondary schools are much better at engaging  the stereotypical unmotivated teenage girl, than they used to be.  If you are worried your child might fall into this category, investigate whether the school offers  provision which enthuses girls to keep fit.
  • A school that is right for your child will have a PE department that suits the needs of all pupils, regardless of their ability or enthusiasm.


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