Jump to content

Compulsory PE in School


Lottylou
 Share

Recommended Posts

Can I have some advice please......

Does anyone have any experience dealing with secondary schools and their need to make PE compulsory (I know it's a statutory requirement from the education authority).

Going forward with our DD (currently in yr 9) we would choose for her to not do PE and use this valuable time to do homework/extra academic work.    Any experiences anyone?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There have certainly been threads on here before discussing getting one's DC exempted from PE, but they've been more for concerns about risk of injury/it being counterproductive to their dance training.  I'm not sure we've had one where parents want to replace it with academic work, though.  Some of the more regular visitors to DD may be able to point you in the right direction.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My DS is in year 10 and misses most of PE every week as he has to leave early to attend his evening CAT classes.  I know this isn’t quite the same as dropping PE in favour of academic work but if his PE class was at a different time I would consider dropping it if I felt the time could be used more wisely.  School doesn’t seem too bothered about it and according to the good folk at CAT, quite a few have dropped PE. I guess different schools will have different views though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The immediate answer is the supervision issue  -  unless the school is bad enough to have a permanently  staffed sin bin or lucky  enough to have a  full time staff member  in the library  who is employed on a contract  which allows them to supervise  none sixth formers   who will supervise said  child  ? 

'extra' academic work ?  often viewed with suspicion ,  vs the risk of injury  / opportunity to use that time  for home work / directed study  because the physical activity is replaced  with  dance  arguement 

There is also the issue of  those outside a CAT  or Associate scheme  that  the  dance training will be viewed solely  as  extra curricular hobby stuff ...   I know the past is a different country  and all that i suspect  that  one of the reasons  in the deep dark past   the secondary schools i attended  were  happy to  allow  me time  to attending  RYA  regional / national  training events  was because  they  were  National Governing Body  organised  events  and  therefore  could count  as , what in modern parlance  is terms ' alternative off site  educational provision' - much the same as an official  school organised field  trip  counts for that. 

I don;t know about the serious gymnasts etc but  the one or  two hours a week of  school PE classes  don;t seem to be an issue  for other sports/ physicla activities

Edited by Nicola H
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When my oldest DD got to yr 10, I emailed the head and asked  permission to take my DD to her dance school for a private lesson during the double PE afternoon lesson. Luckily I work from home so was able to do this. I explained she would be auditioning for dance colleges so needed the extra ballet training.

To my surprise she agreed and was supportive.

Other children in year 10/11 go 'off site' to the gym etc. As long as they are doing some kind of excercise although I don't think they let them drop PE lessons.

My DD also has a single PE lesson, she gets out of running as she has suffered from shin splints in the past. She lets the teacher know if they are hurting and because they know she is serious about her dancing they leave her alone. 

She enjoys netball though!

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our initial direction with the school were the thoughts of injury/risk (which is huge in our eyes) which has immediately been swept aside by the school!  The idea of using the time for extra work is just to make best use of time during school hours (she trains for a minimum of 12 hours a week evenings/weekends).   I understand your thoughts on school teaching provision - maybe the direction of DD coming home for parental supervision would help.   

That's great to hear DaughtersDance - gives me heart that it has been done elsewhere.   Unfortunately there are no CAT or ongoing Associate schemes anywhere near us 😔Nicola H - it's just down to local training and additional opportunities when they come along.

Back to the drawing board ........

Edited by Lottylou
More to say
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm reading this thread with great interest as I have recently been chatting to dd's school about PE & the risk of injury, particularly during audition season. Under the circumstances the school have been understanding & have signed her off PE temporarily so long as I put it in writing for their records. Longer term though it is still a concern of mine & I appreciate that outside of school not every child is involved in a physical activity but dd,12, dances for 9 hours a week & using the time that she was meant to be in PE to do homework would be a huge help to her. I am thankful that she has an understanding PE teacher that has a genuine interest in dd's ballet & even came to watch her perform with EYB last year. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dd’s school (private sector) actually suggested at the start of year 11 that she spend her PE lessons in the library catching up and doing homework as her form tutor had noticed that she was starting to struggle a bit juggling her school workload and all of her dancing. They acknowledged that she was obviously already doing plenty of physical exercise anyway. Obviously we gratefully accepted the suggestion and she has found it very useful! 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it an academy? If so, then it isn't compulsory. As long as you can prove that your dc is getting plenty of exercise (a letter from the dance teacher detailing training should suffice) then the school should be able to accept that and make alternative provision, eg. studying in the school library instead. My dd's school was awkward about it, so we wrote in and said that her dance teacher wanted to personally supervise all her physical training and  there was concern about the potential for injury if she did school PE. That seemed to do the trick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My DD is in yr 9 and PE is compulsory for all years, 7-11, at her secondary school (not academy). She has just started her GCSEs as they run a three year KS4 and she was dreading continuing PE, however luckily for her they give pupils the option of doing GCSE/BTEC dance in core PE time so essentially an extra qualification for these students. She was over the moon as not only did this give her 5 options she now does more dance which she loves! 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lottylou, are there different sports on offer? Are some much more likely to cause injury in the run up to auditions? For example at my daughter's school, girls were often getting injured in hockey, cross-country, orienteering (done at a run around a school field peppered with rabbit holes etc) and football. However swimming, dance, aerobics etc. were fine.  So I wonder if you could reach a compromise where your dd does some sports but not others? 

My daughter is hypermobile and her dance physio wrote to school back in Year 8, if I remember, to say that dd was not permitted to take part in certain sports.  The teachers and head of year were very understanding and dd did the sports she could safely do.  To begin with, they asked her to stand and watch hockey etc. but we thought this a waste of time and the school agreed.  She was allowed to work in the library instead; we're fortunate though that the library has a permanent staff member supervising.  

 

Obviously this all came about on medical grounds - and to start with, working in the library was on a trial basis to see if dd had the self-discipline to work quietly.  If you don't have medical back up then you may struggle to get across the importance of avoiding injury in audition season, but if you're prepared to compromise on your dd doing some activities, it might work? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, taxi4ballet said:

Is it an academy? If so, then it isn't compulsory. As long as you can prove that your dc is getting plenty of exercise (a letter from the dance teacher detailing training should suffice) then the school should be able to accept that and make alternative provision, eg. studying in the school library instead. My dd's school was awkward about it, so we wrote in and said that her dance teacher wanted to personally supervise all her physical training and  there was concern about the potential for injury if she did school PE. That seemed to do the trick.

This is very interesting taxi4ballet.    Yes her school is an academy!   Did you find any documentation regarding PE not being compulsory?  I'd be interested in any info if you have it please.  This has shed a new light - thank you for your help.     Unfortunately Loobylou DD school are not doing dance GCSE this year!    It would have been a perfect solution but I think either way, we've got a battle on our hands.   Why is life never easy!!    Thanks again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, Lottylou said:

This is very interesting taxi4ballet.    Yes her school is an academy!   Did you find any documentation regarding PE not being compulsory?  I'd be interested in any info if you have it please.  This has shed a new light - thank you for your help.     Unfortunately Loobylou DD school are not doing dance GCSE this year!    It would have been a perfect solution but I think either way, we've got a battle on our hands.   Why is life never easy!!    Thanks again.

Academies and 'Free schools' are not bound to the National curriculum in the way  the rump of  LEA  schools  are 

https://www.gov.uk/types-of-school/academies

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lottylou,

 

How many 'serious' dancers does your DD's school have? Do they have any other pupils serious about e.g. gymnastics, swimming, music etc?

 

I am just imagining how this would play out at DD / DS's school. Partly due to the presence of 2 serious dance schools in the town, there will be several dancers in each year group, all the way from Y7 to Y13 who dance 10+ hours a week. There are also swimmers who train several mornings a week before school and compete at weekends, gymnasts who train 10+ hours, musicians [of whom DS is one] who do more than 10 hours a week in county or regional level ensembles. Then there will be those who play hockey, netball, rugby or football in clubs, at county level or beyond, who equally train and compete for many hours each week outside school time. Then there are the niche sports children - archers, badminton players, trampolinists etc etc etc.

 

If I were to say 'DD dances 12 hours a week, so please can she not do PE so she has more time for her academic work?', I don't think they could set that precedent, as so many others could claim the same time and physical commitment for all those other activities. They are always understanding if DD can't play matches (she plays both hockey and netball in her year's first team) due to dance lessons, and when she had a dance injury, were wholly understanding of the need not to do PE until she was fully back at dance even though she was back to 'normal fitness for everyday activities'.

 

In sixth form, there is flexibility about the once weekly games afternoon, and I am sure that if DD stays there for sixth form she may well choose to offset dance against that time. However, up to that point, I suspect they would argue that they could not make an exception just for DD, as otherwise they would have to make a similar exception for so many other children devoting very similar hours to serious extracurricular activities.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very good points Parent Taxi. The other thing that I think is important to consider is the overall value of protecting PE as part of the curriculum. Naturally, as parents our main concern is our own children and I can quite understand the desire to change things to help them. And it makes sense that when a lot of time is spent on a physical pursuit out of school, to think about decreasing the time spent on exercise within school. But, we need to remember that our children are not typical. We live in a society with an increasing obesity problem, particularly child obesity, and for many young people, school PE is the only formal exercise they get each week. It's already being damaged with the selling off of school playing fields and so on, - my children's school (an academy) has recently reduced the PE provision for KS 4 to add in extra maths and English classes as a response to the new GCSE syllabi. Whilst I fully recognise that school PE is of no particular benefit to the typical "serious" dancer, or those who pursue any sport seriously, I think it is beneficial to many other children, particularly if taught well and embracing more that the traditional school sports. The risk is, that if multiple parents start asking for their child to be exempted it adds to the steady drip that is already eroding the provision of PE and other non core subjects in schools.

I only asked once for my DD to be exempted from PE for a few weeks because of dance.  She had was recovering from an injury and had her Advanced 1 exam looming. As it was the last sitting of the old syllabus she really didn't want to miss it! School agreed on that occasion but I don't think they would have allowed it long term.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My DD hasn't done PE since Year 6 and she's now Year 9. Mostly through not wanting to attract injury but also to give her a break because of the amount of ballet she does.  School have always been very supportive but she's fortunate to attend an independent school that offers ballet too so I'm sure they are going to be more supportive.  

 

I'm surprised to hear that PE is reducing in mainstream pupsmum - very sad.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, hoglett said:

 

I'm surprised to hear that PE is reducing in mainstream pupsmum - very sad.

Yes it is sad. And it's not just PE. It seems that a combination of funding issues and the new curriculum are leading to quite a few non core subjects being disadvantaged. At my children's school a lot of things included sports teams, music groups etc are now being funded by donations and sponsorship by local companies. And this is a high achieving school in a relatively affluent area. I can only imagine things are worse in some places. I have a friend who is a PE teacher in a different school and he was informed only days before the start of this school year that A level PE was no longer being offered, despite having  students signed up for it. He wasn't given any reason, but assumes it's financial.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Pups_mum said:

Yes it is sad. And it's not just PE. It seems that a combination of funding issues and the new curriculum are leading to quite a few non core subjects being disadvantaged. At my children's school a lot of things included sports teams, music groups etc are now being funded by donations and sponsorship by local companies. And this is a high achieving school in a relatively affluent area. I can only imagine things are worse in some places. I have a friend who is a PE teacher in a different school and he was informed only days before the start of this school year that A level PE was no longer being offered, despite having  students signed up for it. He wasn't given any reason, but assumes it's financial.

 

I'm shocked - how short sighted is that? I do know somebody recently joined my DD's school as her own large Academy wasn't offering GCSE music.  I do worry about this and wonder how we compare with the rest of the world.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Pups_mum said:

Very good points Parent Taxi. The other thing that I think is important to consider is the overall value of protecting PE as part of the curriculum. Naturally, as parents our main concern is our own children and I can quite understand the desire to change things to help them. And it makes sense that when a lot of time is spent on a physical pursuit out of school, to think about decreasing the time spent on exercise within school. But, we need to remember that our children are not typical. We live in a society with an increasing obesity problem, particularly child obesity, and for many young people, school PE is the only formal exercise they get each week. It's already being damaged with the selling off of school playing fields and so on, - my children's school (an academy) has recently reduced the PE provision for KS 4 to add in extra maths and English classes as a response to the new GCSE syllabi. Whilst I fully recognise that school PE is of no particular benefit to the typical "serious" dancer, or those who pursue any sport seriously, I think it is beneficial to many other children, particularly if taught well and embracing more that the traditional school sports. The risk is, that if multiple parents start asking for their child to be exempted it adds to the steady drip that is already eroding the provision of PE and other non core subjects in schools.

I only asked once for my DD to be exempted from PE for a few weeks because of dance.  She had was recovering from an injury and had her Advanced 1 exam looming. As it was the last sitting of the old syllabus she really didn't want to miss it! School agreed on that occasion but I don't think they would have allowed it long term.

 

Yes, I agree.  Had my daughter not been so hypermobile - and already suffering, at that time, chronic achilles tendinitis as a result, I don't think we could or would have asked school to make an exception for her.  The fact that it was for medical reasons made all the difference. Also, dd's willingness to do the sports she *could* safely do, such as swimming, dance, aerobics etc. made it much easier for school to agree that she didn't have to do hockey etc.  That compromise along with her great work ethic and good behaviour meant school let her work alone in the library at a time when others (including a fellow dancer) asked but were refused.  

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As my DD is rapidly approaching her GCSE's in yr 11 I have had the struggle with PE and the dreaded Sports Day for far too many years to remember. Managing to avoid that particular day with carefully arranged dental appointments etc. Oops. 

 

Fortunately, if like my DD''s school in Yr10 and 11 their sports lessons appear to take on a new dimension during the winter months, Pilates, Zumba, First Aid and Life Saving. Thus avoiding the possible dreaded contact sports of Hockey and Netball. But she still takes part every year in the annual school walk, 27 miles (last May in 32 degree heat). In fact all the pupils at the same dance school and academic, that completed the walk wnet to their regualr dance lessons that evening. It must be something that the dance teachers inbed in their pupils about never giving up! 

 

I did approach the staff to see if she could spend quality time in the learning support dept (always staffed for other pupils) to avoid PE and to continue with her homework/studies. No, couldn't be done as PE is compulsory as laid down by the Education Dept. So she was allowed to drop an 'option' subject that was a GCSE exam in instead! Yup that makes great sense. Not 

 

Had to laugh though when receiving her school report at Christmas. For a DD that is in the studio approx 15 hours per week. Has already secured her place at Vocational School for this September, her PE teachers writes:-

TARGET

To continue to pursue phyiscal activity beyond compulsory school age in order to maintain good health and fitness habits into adulthood. 

 

They really are in a league of their own  ;) :D

 

 

 

 

Edited by balletbean
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My youngest dd has exercise induced asthma. She was fine doing ballet but she and a friend always had bad asthma attacks after cross country runs. The answer? “Keep running! You’ll get over it”. I hear you, balletbean

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...