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Sport to be compulsory at primary school

Competitive team sports will be made compulsory for all primary school children in England, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced. 

A draft new curriculum this autumn would specify participation in sports such as hockey, netball or football.

Cameron came under fire last week for scrapping a two-hour per week target for PE for school children. The news follows calls for Government to secure a sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympics. 

Cameron said: “The idea of an Olympics legacy has been built into the DNA of London 2012 from the very beginning. Now the London Olympics has been a great success, we need to use the inspiration of the Games to get children playing sport more regularly. 

“I want to use the example of competitive sport at the Olympics to lead a revival of competitive sport in primary schools.

“We need to end the ‘all must have prizes’ culture and get children playing and enjoying competitive sports from a young age, linking them up with sports clubs so they can pursue their dreams. 

“That’s why the new national curriculum in the autumn will include a requirement for primary schools to provide competitive sport.” 

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “London 2012 has drawn the nation's attention to the sheer breadth of sports on offer and an enduring legacy would be to see the government promote these, thereby ensuring children enjoy participating at every level. The message is diversity.” 

Labour said the plans were ill-thought through, with no details on funding and no plan for secondary schools. 

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at [email protected]


Tony Mynard   13/08/2012 at 13:49

There seems to be this odd belief going around that all kids love sport and just need the chance to play it. I didn't. My friends didn't. We hated it, skived off every chance we got, accepted the punishments, skived off again the next week. And here I am at 57, perfectly fit through such outrageous tricks as never smoking, never doing drugs, confining my drinking to a couple of glasses of wine a week, and walking a lot instead of driving. Easy. Meanwhile kids who love music are being deprived of it by education cuts destroying the system of peripatetic instrument teachers, kids who love history are being deprived of it by local government cuts destroying the national network of archives... Going to do something about those, Mr Cameron? Or don't they have quite the same vote-grabbing allure?

Rob   14/08/2012 at 10:10

My daughter teaches in an innner London school that has no playing field fiels or dedicated sports hall. I agree with the idea of children being taught PE and sport, but there are practical issues to overcome that cost money, and this government seems good at setting targets rather than taking practical constructive steps that provide solutions.

Mark Jones   14/08/2012 at 11:56

It is only a shame that Mrs Thatcher sold off so many of the playing fields

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