ASCL comment on new standards for equal access to sports

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the government’s press release outlining new standards to ensure all children are offered the same sports during PE and extracurricular activities.
“We welcome the investment that is outlined in this press release, and the warm words from the government about championing sport and PE in schools. It is long overdue. The Lionesses have set an inspirational example and we are sure this will lead to many more girls wanting to participate in football and that schools will want to do everything possible to provide those opportunities for their pupils. 
“We are also sure that the vast majority of schools already provide equal access to sport for boys and girls and that they strive to ensure that there are plenty of opportunities for PE and sport during the school week. However, there does need to be a reality check. School timetables are crammed with a multitude of expectations from the government in all sorts of areas and it is a constant battle to find the time for everything. There is a real need for a comprehensive curriculum review that slims down expectations and gives the right weighting to all these competing demands. In addition, school funding is under huge pressure making it much more difficult to put on extracurricular activities such as sports clubs. We need a proper strategy and resources rather than piecemeal announcements and new targets.”