General Article We simply cannot rely on school PE lessons to provide enough exercise for children

Topic Selected: Fitness Book Volume: 384

Even at the best of times, schools struggle to provide pupils with adequate physical education.

By Oliver Brown, Chief sports writer

As the children of the pandemic prepare once more to have their escapist joys cruelly curtailed, the Government needs to be aware of a crucial false premise in its own logic. By decreeing that children who spend their daylight hours indoors in classes of 30 must not join their friends at weekends for games of seven-a-side, it implies an assumption that schools can still furnish all the physical education required. Such faith, alas, is sadly misplaced. For even at the best of times, the PE provision in the National Curriculum is far from adequate, let alone when the nation is plunged into fresh paralysis just as the nights draw in.

Already, pupils are being taught fewer hours of PE than they were a decade ago. Last year, research by Sport England highlighted how 80 per cent were failing to do the 60 minutes of daily physical exercise recommended by the ...

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