17/08/2004

Sports colleges have more to do, says Ofsted report

Specialist sports colleges and schools have much more to do to ensure all pupils are given sufficient attention to fulfil their potential, according to a new report by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted).

Today's publication examined provision for gifted and talented pupils in PE and school sport and the impact of the government's Physical Education, School Sport and Club Links strategy.

The Ofsted report published today found that specialist institutions "are committed" to helping gifted and talented pupils in PE reach their potential but more attention is needed to identify underachievers and bring them along.

However, the report noted that as the programme was at different stages in different schools it was too soon to evaluate its overall impact on pupils' performance, motivation and self-esteem.

Management and leadership of provision for talented pupils are good or better in just over half of the schools visited and satisfactory or better in the majority of schools. And systems and criteria for identifying talented pupils are good or better in just over half of the schools, the report said. However, the criteria used by schools to identify talented pupils are often not as good at identifying pupils with potential who are underachieving.

Teaching is satisfactory or better in most lessons and good or better in three-fifths; and mentoring for talented young people is also developing in most schools to help talented pupils cope with the demands of homework, schoolwork and training.

Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools, David Bell, said that PE and school sport offers pupils the "knowledge, understanding and skills" they need when they make the choice of playing sport either recreationally or professionally.

The gifted and talented programme was launched in September 2003 in School Sport Partnerships. The Partnerships consist of specialist sport colleges and secondary and primary schools working together to increase the amount of time pupils spend on high quality physical education and school sport.

Up to 142 sports colleges received funding of up to £2,000 to implement the programme by March 2004, in partnership with 112 schools.

(gmcg)

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