Young disabled people should access the benefits of PE and school sport

On Thursday 14 February, Ofsted released their latest report on the teaching of physical education and school sport in England. The English Federation of Disability Sport echoes Youth Sport Trust in welcoming a national strategy on PE and school sport, which is fully inclusive of young disabled people’s needs.

 "Beyond 2012 - outstanding physical education for all" is based on inspections of 120 primary schools, 110 secondary schools and seven special schools, which were carried out between September 2008 and July 2012. Although the report’s key findings determine that PE is in ‘good health’ and the quality of teaching good or outstanding in the vast majority of schools, it did find some discrepancies in the period pupils spend being physically active in their PE lessons.

The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) believe strongly in the influence of PE and school sport for disabled people. It not only leads to a more fulfilling school experience, but also has a wider impact on lifestyles outside of school, in addition to later in life. This positive experience is vital to shape disabled people’s life-long participation and access to sporting pathways.

Barry Horne, Chief Executive of EFDS said:

“We welcome the recommendation of a national strategy and very much support a minimum of two hours of core physical education per week. Critical to this, is a focus on learning from existing outstanding practices and ensuring everyone has high quality provision”.

 

As the national body for disabled people in sport and physical activity throughout England, the EFDS works with key partners such as Sport England and Youth Sport Trust, to support sport and physical activity sectors to be more inclusive. The charity also works hard to encourage disabled people to reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle through sport and active recreation. Introducing active lifestyle values from a young age means disabled people will be able to make healthier choices when they have left school.

Horne continues:

“We also recognise that inclusive teaching strategies and delivery benefit all pupils regardless of impairment or ability. Providing an environment in which everyone has the opportunity to be challenged appropriately and make good progress is important. We are committed to showing inclusion and competition matter- in every form. This commitment can be seen through our past work on Sport England’s Playground to Podium programme, as well as our newly found partnership with Sainsbury’s on Active Kids for All”.

 

EFDS’s research (Understanding the barriers to participation) identified psychological barriers as the biggest reason disabled people do not take part in sport. To overcome this top barrier means changing attitudes of disabled people and those towards them. PE and school sport can be an important tool in this behaviour change.

Through the Sainsbury’s Active Kids for All Inclusive PE programme, EFDS alongside delivery partners at Youth Sport Trust will work hard to support both trainee teachers and established teaching networks. The aim is to embed these inclusive practices within curriculum delivery, so more young disabled people can enjoy sport. For more information on this programme, please visit the Active Kids 4 All pages.

For further information please contact:

Sarah Marl, Marketing and Communications Manager. Mobile: 07764 291671

Kat Southwell, UK Inclusive PE Project Co-ordinator. Mobile: 07967573343