According to a TES analysis of England’s school workforce statistics, between 2011 and 2017 the number of hours dedicated to PE in state-funded secondary schools fell by 5 per cent at key stage 3 and by 21 per cent at KS4. Also PHSE lessons have also reduced dramatically, with teacher hours devoted to the subject down by one third (33 per cent) for KS3, and almost halved (47 per cent) for KS4 pupils.
The Children’s Commissioner (Anne Longfield) callson schools to make changes to promote pupil wellbeing, saying that they have an important role to play in helping children both become more physically active and build personal resilience. This is amid observations of more pupils being obese and spending too long using screens.
“It is disappointing to see many schools are spending less time on PE when we know that our children are the least active generation ever and that just one in four boys and one in five girls in England do the recommended 60 minutes of activity each day,” Ms Longfield said.
“Schools have a really important role to play, alongside parents, in making sure children are physically active and not spending all their time glued to screens.
“It is also disappointing that some schools are investing less time in PSHE. These lessons are a vitally important part of helping children build the resilience and the skills they need to cope with many of the challenges they will face growing up. Schools should be spending more time on PSHE, not less.”
A significant cut in the number of hours schools teach PE and PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) at school, has raised concerns about pupils’ physical health and mental wellbeing.
Alison Oliver, chief executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said the reduction in PE hours was “very worrying” because of its implications for “young people’s physical, social and emotional health”. She says the trend risks increasing childhood obesity and exacerbating the mental health crisis.
This work ties in with Jenny’s observations in schools, and her Golden Model promotes speaking and listening, PSHE and other social competencies and getting more physically active at playtimes by promoting games and activities and empowering Lunchtime Supervisors to support these aims.
Website Manager’s Notes
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- Jenny runs exciting and unique training for circle time, training for positive behaviour for learning, training for midday supervisors and lunchtime supervisors to promote calm dining halls and healthy, active playgrounds, also training for promoting social and communication skills for learning and training for mental health and wellbeing and PSHE
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- Do see Jenny’s Calm Dining Halls articles in Headteacher Update and the TES.