When is the best time to start your physical education training?
Physical education is an area that is currently in flux, with schools and teachers increasingly focussing on physical education as a key component of their curriculum, and some schools have even switched to virtual reality (VR) as a means of improving student learning.
But with some states, such as California, pushing back on the notion that they need to provide physical education to students in order to be successful, we are beginning to see schools and educators reconsider their stance.
The UK’s physical education funding will continue to be funded at a similar level to other areas of government, with funding of around £20 million set to be allocated in the next financial year.
This will be used to invest in physical education, with £5 million earmarked for this purpose and £2 million for the Physical Education Research Council (PERC).
This is a fantastic funding, but it is not enough.
The UK is not the only country to be struggling with funding for physical education.
Australia has been struggling for years with funding, with a national average of just over £1 million allocated per student.
New Zealand has also been struggling, with over £5.5 million allocated to physical education in the last financial year, according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physical Education.
These numbers are worrying.
Physical education has been a key focus of the British government since the 1960s, with education ministers keen to boost uptake.
In the 1970s and 1980s, funding for the sector increased significantly, with the National Physical Education Scheme (NPES) providing £1 billion in funding over the next 20 years.
The NPES was abolished in the 1990s, leaving schools and their physical education teams to fend for themselves.
As a result, there are now less than 10 schools that receive funding per pupil from the scheme, and the number of schools that are able to afford to buy equipment has plummeted.
A major problem facing schools and staff is the increasing number of students entering into compulsory physical education programmes, many of which are not equipped to meet the needs of their pupils.
As more and more students are enrolled in schools and schools are struggling to keep up, the UK’s funding of physical education has come under increasing pressure.
In some cases, physical education departments have taken a much harder line than they used to, with physical education students facing the possibility of being placed in a virtual reality class.
A report released by the British Council in 2017 found that a third of all school physical education classes in England were in breach of the Health and Safety Act.
Theresa May’s commitment to the Physical Excellence Act was widely seen as the key to the country’s success in the face of these challenges, and it has led to the introduction of a range of new policies and initiatives.
One of these has been the UK Physical Education Strategy (UPS), which is set to see the launch of new programmes across all levels of government.
The plan is to provide more funding for schools and other providers of physical activity and physical education by 2021.
As part of this, there is also an increase in the size of the National Health Service (NHS) funding pool.
The biggest changes to the way physical education is funded are being introduced in London, with plans to increase the size and scope of the NHS physical education programme by almost 50 per cent.
The change is set for the next funding year, with more money set to go towards the UK physical education fund.
Another big step towards increasing funding for children and adults is the National School Physical Education and Health Survey (SNPEHS), which will also see the increase in funding in 2021.
The survey will ask parents, staff and pupils about the types of physical activities they have experienced in the previous 12 months, with some data collected to be shared with schools.
These data will help to improve physical education programs across the country, and will be key to helping to determine the best policies and best practices for future funding.
Despite these improvements in funding, many schools are still struggling to get funding for their physical activities.
According to the National Council for Physical Education (NCPE), schools are underfunded by £1.5 billion, with around 60 per cent of all schools failing to get a single grant in 2021 and a further 13 per cent not receiving any funding at all.
The government is making it clear that there is a need to ensure that all children and all adults have access to a physical education and physical activity plan, but this will only be achieved if all parents, teachers and pupils agree on how they will spend their time and money.
While there is no doubt that funding will be increased in the coming years, it will be essential that parents, parents and teachers work together to ensure these funds are used effectively.
We need to work together, not against each other, to ensure we have the best possible physical education system.