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New guidance supports governing boards in ensuring inclusive and high-quality physical education


To support governing boards in understanding, influencing and monitoring physical education (PE) and school sport provision within their school or trust, the National Governance Association (NGA) has produced guidance in collaboration with the Youth Sport Trust (YST).

Research from YST shows that PE, together with school sport and other physical activity, supports pupils’ wider development including their mental health and social wellbeing. As such, the guidance says that physical activity should be central to school and trust development strategies and supporting post-pandemic recovery that focuses on the ‘whole child’.

Governing boards are responsible for actively ensuring that pupils receive a high-quality PE curriculum through strategic discussions. This should result in a curriculum that responds to the needs of every child as well as inspiring pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically demanding activities

The new guidance is intended to support discussions between boards and school leaders about making PE a fundamental part of a curriculum that supports the educational vision for their school or trust. It will also help boards to influence and support the planning and delivery of PE as well as physical activity and sport and monitor the impact of those plans.

In a new report published this week, The Class of 2035: How sport can empower a generation, Youth Sport Trust address the impact of the declining participation in PE, sport and physical activity.

Ali Oliver MBE, chief executive of Youth Sport Trust said:

“Following the huge disruption of the past 18 months, we have a unique opportunity to create a new and better, normal for young people. One which empowers young voices and harnesses the power of sport to improve lives and drive social change. However, there is a risk that things could go the other way."


Fiona Fearon, policy and projects manager at NGA said:

“The last 18 months have shone a light on, and exacerbated further, longstanding concerns around pupil mental health and well being, academic attainment gaps and personal and social development. PE and school sport is one of the most powerful tools schools have at their disposal in addressing and preventing these challenges faced by the children and young people we serve. Our guidance is designed to support governors and trustees in using that tool effectively and their pivotal role in promoting PE and school sport as a core subject and an essential part of their school culture and ethos.”

Visit the Knowledge Centre to read the guidance