'Championing the rights of children'

Ebacc plans imperil Olympic legacy, say sports chiefs

Garry Thu 20 Dec 2012 09:51

Education reforms will damage future medal prospects, according to bodies including British Cycling and UK Athletics.

Sports governing bodies that helped Team GB's athletes to unprecedented success at the London Games have warned that government plans to revamp secondary education risk marginalising school sport, damaging future medal prospects and the hoped-for Olympic legacy.

The umbrella group for all governing bodies in the UK including the Football Association, British Cycling and the UK Athletics Association has said the new English baccalaureate would downgrade sport in schools and compound a "worrying" decline in the number of teenagers studying PE at secondary school.

The protests, also contained in the Sport and Recreation Alliance's submission to a Department for Education consultation on the proposed qualification, have been echoed by many in development positions in sports that delivered Olympic success.

"Over the last four years, the number of pupils taking PE at GCSE level has dropped by a third. To ensure we do not marginalise sport and creative subjects, we believe they must be included as a sixth pillar of the new Ebacc qualification, in addition to the five core subject areas proposed by the government," said Sport and Recreation Alliance chairman, Andy Reed.

"By limiting the Ebacc to five core academic subject areas, there is a real danger that PE will be sidelined by head teachers as they focus on achieving success in the league tables. The variety of career pathways open to young people will be restricted, and the development of sporting talent in the UK could be undermined."

Read more ... (The Guardian - 17 December)