My daughter doesn’t do PE. She’s still at school and she’d quite like to do PE, but isn’t on the timetable.
It used to be. But no longer now she’s in Year 11.
My daughter and her school friends are not alone. Hundreds of young people up and down the country don’t have PE on their school timetable anymore, particularly in Year 11 due to GCSE exams.
In a recent survey by the Youth Sport Trust, 38% of teachers said time spent on physical education for 14-16 year-olds had fallen in the past five years, and almost one in four said it had dropped within the past year.
One in three teachers said exam pressures were behind the decline, while 38% said core subjects such as English and Maths had been given more time at the expense of PE.
But it might not just be down to exams that PE is being cut.
3 DAYS TO GO⏳
We are still looking for our next satellite clubs 🏄🏉🚴who will help us get London teenagers more active
— London Sport (@LondonSport) November 28, 2018
Some young people are choosing to opt out of PE because it just doesn’t excite today’s teenagers.
It’s not fun, challenging or enjoyable. The most recent Health Survey for England suggests that just 7% of girls and 19% of boys aged between 13 and 15 meet the nationally recommended level of 60 minutes physical activity a day.
In spite of this, the Sport and Recreational Alliance reported that 93% of young people like being active.
So, what can we do?
Well, we could challenge, argue, question and try to persuade schools to reverse their decision.
We can point to all the evidence of the positive impact that regular daily physical activity has on physical, mental, social and emotional wellbeing. And we can try to bring about some positive change by doing things differently.
London Sport has just launched some new funding for Satellite Clubs, with the exact intention of getting young people aged between 14-19 more active, particularly focusing on those who wouldn’t otherwise be active.
We’re looking for individuals, groups or clubs interested in launching a Satellite Club to get more young people aged between 14 and 19 completing more physical activity and sport.
Our Satellite Club programme has been successfully getting teenagers more active for over 6 years. 😱🎉
We take a look at how they strive to make activity inclusive for deaf and disabled people and how you can get involved
— London Sport (@LondonSport) November 26, 2018
They are designed around the needs of young people and provide them with positive, enjoyable experiences that make it easy for them to become active or to develop more regular activity habits
Satellite Clubs will not solve the problem of teenage activity by itself. No single programme or intervention can. But it can be part of the solution.
Anything that encourages more young people to be active and to create a regular activity habits must be embraced.
With PE and sport being squeezed out of young people’s lives during the school day, every opportunity must be taken to increase opportunities outside of it. Let’s make a concerted effort to help them do just that.