mofarahschoolThere is not enough strenuous, physical activity in many of England's school PE lessons, education inspectors say.

The Ofsted report 'Beyond 2012 – outstanding physical education for all' found PE is outstanding or good in nearly three-quarters of all schools, with considerable investment over the last decade has ensuring PE is "a central part of school life for pupils of all ages".

However, in some schools Ofsted found there was not enough physical activity in PE lessons and in more than a quarter of schools, teaching did not improve all pupils’ physical fitness.

HMCI Sir Michael Wilshaw said: "Generally, PE in our schools is in good health, but there are some issues the report highlights as areas for improvement. In particular, we found there often wasn't enough physical, strenuous activity in PE lessons.

"Some teachers talked for too long and pupils were not provided with enough activity to enable them to learn or practise their skills. In many of the schools visited, the more able pupils were not challenged sufficiently because teachers' expectations of them were too low.

"Schools with the best PE provision enabled pupils to achieve well by providing an ever increasing range of extra-curricular and traditional activities."

The government has said it has taken on Ofsted's findings from 330 primary and secondary schools and drafted a new PE curriculum that will put competitive sport back at the heart of school life.

Having already achieved a clear improvement in PE ratings on the results of Ofsted's last survey in 2008, largely down to the creation of the School Sports Partnership Programme, inspectors have warned the challenge would now be sustaining this level of improvement against the "backdrop of greater expectations following last summer's London Games".

The report also called for a new national strategy building on the success of the School Sports Partnership Programme and deal with the needs of overweight & obese pupils.

A Department for Education spokesman said: "We want all children to be given the opportunities they need to be fit and healthy. The draft PE curriculum published last week is designed to put competitive sport back at the heart of school life and end the damaging 'prizes for all' culture.

"We are also extending the School Games and spending £1bn on youth sport over the next five years. In addition we are working across government on a range of measures to improve PE and school sport as part of the Olympic and Paralympic legacy and will make an announcement in due course."

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Posted 14/02/2013 by richard.hook@pavpub.com