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Sports chiefs fear for future of PE under Ebacc system

20/12/2012 Joanna
Education reforms will further undermine the Olympic legacy, sports chiefs have warned.

According to the Sport and Recreation Alliance, revamping secondary school education by introducing the English Baccalaureate will undermine school sport and contribute to the decline that's already being seen in the number of students taking PE.

The umbrella group representing the Football Association, British Cycling and UK Athletics Association is concerned because the Ebacc excludes PE and creative subjects such as dance. As a result, it warned that the exam system will not provide young people with a well-rounded educational experience.

Andy Reed, chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, said that by failing to place PE on a level plain with subjects like languages and humanities, it is likely that fewer teenagers will choose to take it at Key Stage 4 and beyond.

"Over the last four years, the number of pupils taking PE at GCSE level has dropped by a third," he said. "To ensure that we do not marginalise sport and creative subjects, we believe they must be included as a sixth pillar of the new Ebacc qualification, in addition to the five core subject areas proposed by the government."

Beyond this, the alliance believes that PE is in danger of being overlooked just when it is needed the most in the lives of young children.

"We have an obesity crisis and an urgent need to combat levels of inactivity and sedentary behaviour among young people," Mr Reed warned.

According to the 2011 National Child Measurement Programme, as many as a third of all children are now obese or overweight when they start secondary school. Similarly, the 2009/10 annual PE and school sport survey suggests a significant drop physical activity among people aged 16 and 17.

Mr Reed concluded: "If the government is to reach its goal of breaking this cycle and help young people establish a sporting habit for life, it is vital that primary and secondary schools offer opportunities to try a wide range of physical activities."ADNFCR-2164-ID-801510731-ADNFCR
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