Teachers should be encouraged to take a stake in John...
- Education Professionals
Specialist PE teachers needed
Michael Gove, the education secretary, who came under fire when he axed ringfenced funding for a national school sport network, will hold talks on Thursday with five of the biggest sports bodies including the Football Association and the Rugby Football Union to try to plot a way forward.
Despite the Olympic promise to inspire a generation of young people through sport, research conducted by the Labour party recently showed a 60% drop in the amount of time dedicated to organising school sport in the wake of government cuts.
In response David Cameron promised a new primary school curriculum in which competitive sport would be compulsory, but the YST chief executive, John Steele, has now said investment in specialist teachers is more important.
In 2010 Gove axed £162m in ringfenced funding for a national network of school sports partnerships. After outcry from athletes, pupils and opposition MPs, Cameron ordered a partial U-turn, but the ringfenced funding was still cut by 69% and only guaranteed until 2013.
Steele commented that YST research showed that almost half of primary school teachers, some of whom had only six or seven hours of PE instruction during their training, were nervous about teaching it. A dedicated PE specialist in every primary school would be the "ideal scenario", but he said there were other options open to the government.
It could continue funding an expanded teacher release scheme to allow secondary school PE specialists to support primaries, or designate six to eight days a year where every primary school teacher was given specialist training and support in delivering PE.