Research performed by Youth Sport Trust has found that GCSE students have seen a reduction in access to PE in the last ten years. More than 35,000 hours have been shaved off PE hours despite physical activity recommendations. 70% of children in Key Stage 4 have suffered this squeeze on PE hours.
GCSEs may represent some of the most stressful experiences of a young person’s life. Physical activity is a proven stress reliever, with scientific studies continuing to reveal its transformative effect. From cognitive development to academic progress, fitness is an important element of a pupil’s academic life.
The research showed that schools have often been forced to reduce PE in favour of core subjects. Commitments to improving attainment levels in English and Maths, especially with the recent pandemic, have resulted in schools reducing PE hours.
The charity expressed its concern that young people were unlikely to get their 60 minutes of activity a day. The recommendation has increasingly come under pressure in schools. A survey of a school in the northwest found that they had removed PE completely for their Year 11s and left the Year 10s with only an hour per week.
CEO Alison Oliver added:
“Too often schools are forced to squeeze PE out of the curriculum in favour of other subjects. Now is the time we need Government to protect the current investment into PE and school sport and those who organise and deliver it and make a concerted effort to understand and value its contribution to health and education outcomes.”
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