Lord Moynihan: State schools will fail to deliver on Olympic sporting legacy without major teaching overhaul

 

State schools will fail to deliver on the Olympic sporting legacy unless there is a major overhaul of the way they teach sport and PE, Lord Moynihan, chairman of the British Olympic Association, said today.

He called for an increase in the amount of time spent training primary teachers to teach PE, adding: “Sixty per cent of our primary school trainees spend less than six hours in total on PE.”

In addition, he said education standards watchdog Ofsted should be told to report on how curriculum time is spent on sport in each school as well as the hours devoted to out-of-school activities.

Speaking at the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’  Conference (HMC) – which represents top independent schools – in Belfast, he was also highly critical of  Education Secretary Michael Gove’s decision to set up an Olympic-style school games competition for all schools in England.

“This total focus on the Olympic style school games as the panacea of all competitive school sport is not the answer,” he added.

“You need to engage in sporting links with local clubs, work with schools and some of the sporting academies in the area and build things up.”

He said the games approach had “failed lamentably to address the issue of getting talented youngsters into sport”.

Lord Moynihan added that young athletes revelled in inter- school sporting rivalry – building up a rapport with their team-mates, adding: “Don’t take that kid out and put them in a blue t-shirt and call his team south-east England.”

He also called on schools not to just concentrate on traditional sports like football and cricket and instead opt to provide alternatives such as dance on the curriculum. “There should be more dance available,” he told heads.

Speaking afterwards, he added: “Historically, there has been an emphasis in schools on traditional sports but I think it is important we need to move away from that and be responsive to what the kids want to do.

“I’m a strong advocate that dance should be part of what we offer kids.  There are lots of kids who want to do it and here is an activity that gets them healthy and gets them into recreation.”

His comments put him at odds with Prime Minister David Cameron who – during the Olympics – was critical of a school offering its pupils Indian dance as part of their sports activities.

He added:  “I’m not against the school games but I think it should be part of an overall agenda which starts with developing school links to clubs and sports governing bodies to increase participation.”

He praised independent schools for delivering eight gold medals, five silver and seven bronze at the Olympics “which puts you just marginally ahead of Australia, and ahead of Japan, Spain, Brazil and Jamaica”.

However, he said that the “worst statistic in British sport” was that these medals were gained by just seven per cent of the population who had been to private schools compared with the 93 per cent attending state schools.

“We’re failing to identify and provide a ladder of opportunity for outstandingly talented kids in the state sector,” he added.

He urged private schools to share their expertise within their communities to help reduce the gap.

However, Bernard Trafford, a former chairman of HMC and head of Newcastle Royal Grammar school, argued that the best way of improving sports provision in the state sector would be to have a trained specialist sports teacher in every primary school.

“If you have a teacher who knows what they’re doing in every primary school, that would solve the problem,” he added.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Night job: Pacha nightclub DJ, Joan Ribas, is the new kingmaker on the island
news
Arts and Entertainment
Nicole Kidman plays Grace Kelly in the film, which was criticised by Monaco’s royal family
film'I survived it, but I’ll never be the same,' says Arash Amel
Life and Style
Retailers should make good any consumer goods problems that occur within two years
tech(and what to do if you receive it)
Life and Style
healthIf one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
Life and Style
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Reach Volunteering: Would you like to volunteer your expertise as Chair of Governors for Livability?

Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses are reimbursable: Reach Volunteering...

Ashdown Group: Payroll Administrator - Buckinghamshire - £25,000

£20000 - £25000 per annum + substantial benefits: Ashdown Group: Finance Admin...

Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator - Windows, Linux - Central London

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrat...

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada