School competitive team sports move to be unveiled
Published: 11th Aug 2012 01:11:14
Competitive team sports will be made compulsory for all primary school children in England, Prime Minister David Cameron will announce later.
A draft new curriculum this autumn would require participation in sports such as football, hockey and netball.
Mr Cameron has been urged to set out how he intends to secure a sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympics.
Labour leader Ed Miliband has called on political parties to work together on a 10-year plan to boost sports activity.
The prime minister has pointed to a £1bn fund for youth sport, but the government has been criticised for scrapping a target of two hours physical education a week for school children.
London Mayor Boris Johnson has even called for two hours a day of compulsory sport.
Now the London Olympics has been a great success, we need to use the inspiration of the Games to get children playing sport more regularly”
Mr Cameron has said schools often saw the two-hour target as a maximum and told the BBC that Indian dance was being counted as physical education.
He will announce that the national curriculum for primary schools in England will be re-written with an explicit reference to competitive team sports.
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".
Mr Cameron said: "The idea of an Olympics legacy has been built into the DNA of London 2012 from the very beginning.
"Now the London Olympics has been a great success, we need to use the inspiration of the Games to get children playing sport more regularly."
He added: "I want to use the example of competitive sport at the Olympics to lead a revival of competitive sport in primary schools.
"We need to end the 'all must have prizes' culture and get children playing and enjoying competitive sports from a young age, linking them up with sports clubs so they can pursue their dreams.
"That's why the new national curriculum in the autumn will include a requirement for primary schools to provide competitive sport."
The National Association of Head Teachers has called for further investment in a wide range of school sports.
But it said the government should not seek to dictate the specific games that are played.
Russell Hobby, general secretary of the head teachers' union, 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."
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. School competitive team sports move to be unveiled [Online] (Updated 11th Aug 2012)
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