February 14 - The new Ofsted report on PE and school sport has claimed that there is not enough strenuous physical activity in many of England's primary and secondary school lessons while teachers have been criticised for talking too much in sessions and lacking specialist training.
The report, which was published today, also highlights the fact that only a minority of schools play competitive sport at high level.
The report comes after Ofsted inspectors visited 120 primary schools and 110 secondary over a four-year period while it comes ahead of a Government announcement of more funding for sport.
The funding announcement, which will be made by Education Secretary Michael Gove, was scheduled to be made this week but it has now been delayed to later this month.
Overall the report said PE teaching was good or outstanding in two-thirds of the primary schools it visited, and three-quarters of the secondary schools it saw.
This was an improvement on the results of its last survey in 2008, it said.
But much of the success was put down to the School Sports Partnership programme, which was scrapped by Gove only to be partially reinstated on a dramatically reduced budget following an outcry from heads, schools and politicians.
The report called for a new national strategy building on the success of the School Sports Partnership Programme.
"Generally, PE in our schools is in good health, but there are some issues the report highlights as areas for improvement," said chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw.
"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."
Youth Sport Trust chair Baroness Sue Campbell welcomed the report, claiming it highlighted some major issues that must be addressed.
"We welcome the new Ofsted report on PE and school sport which highlights some excellent work that has been taking place in schools over the past four years, but also offers some areas of concern that must be a catalyst for action," she said.
"The report covers in some detail the strides that have been taken to advance the provision of PE and school sport through the tireless work of those involved in School Sport Partnerships - previously funded through central Government investment.
"This system enabled schools to work in partnership, both with other schools but also across community settings which, as clarified in this report, achieved significant improvements.
"We therefore support Ofsted's recommendation for a national strategy on PE and school sport going forward and are pleased that the report shows that a collaborative approach between schools has been extremely successful previously.
"Ensuring schools work together to share resources is the most effective way to raise participation rates and increase competitive opportunities."
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