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Primary teachers get free PE training amid calls to test pupils

23/11/2011 Joanna
Specialists in sports medicine have called on the government to create more PE teacher jobs to help preserve children's fitness for the future.

This recommendation comes at the same time as the Youth Sport Trust has announced it is to provide specialist PE skills training to thousands of primary teachers in England.

At a conference in London, specialists called for compulsory "physical literacy" tests to be rolled out alongside the reading and mathematics tests pupils currently take, the BBC reported.

Writing on the BBC website, Dr Andy Franklyn-Miller, an expert in sports medicine, said that a greater focus on PE could help preserve the future health and physical competence of the UK's young people.

"Let us achieve future success now by building in a PE curriculum that embraces push, pull, squat, brace, rotate, accelerate and change of direction," he told the news provider.

Dr Franklyn-Miller believes that PE testing could help create a lasting legacy from the Olympics and should be competitive, though he concedes that rigorous testing could be negative for some pupils.

However, while the experts claim that this would help children suffering from health problems while also identifying the potential sports stars of the future, teaching unions and the Youth Sport Trust argue they would be counterproductive, the news provider stated.

While the Youth Sport Trust is beginning its Start to Move programme of free PE training for teachers, its chief executive Baroness Sue Campbell rejected the testing proposal.

"I think that could have quite a negative impact on some children," she told the BBC.

A Department for Education spokesman meanwhile told the news provider that physical education was already a priority for the government.

"It will remain a compulsory part of the curriculum, which will set out a clearer expectation that all pupils should play competitive sport, and will retain the expectation that all children should learn to swim," they said.

Last year, the British Association of Sports and Exercise Medicine said that PE lessons in the UK were failing to get children's heart rates up high enough to be of real physical benefit.

Posted by Harriet McGowanADNFCR-2164-ID-801219187-ADNFCR
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