Coe calls for PE teachers to 'be given bonuses' to build on Olympic legacy (Telegraph)back to list
19 November 2012
The head of the London 2012 organising committee called for a shake-up to avoid allowing the spike in enthusiasm created by the Games "to crumble under our feet".
He said the need to increase the quality of PE teaching should be addressed just as maths and science had previously been targeted for improvements.
Lord Coe, the new chair of the British Olympic Association, suggested that money should be made available to encourage the practice of teachers running competitive sports for pupils outside school hours.
He said: "I think we need to recognise within the funding mechanism the role that PE teachers are going to play if you want them to be involved in competitive sport that is inevitably going to take place outside the timetable.
"There are young schoolteachers with family commitments, and all the other pressures there are now in a very prescriptive curriculum. We are going to need to create space outside the curriculum for sport."
Lord Coe made the remarks while addressing the London Assembly.
He added: "We are also probably going to have to recognise the work of physical education teachers in exactly the same way that we did in many of your boroughs when we needed to increase probably the quality of maths and science teachers."
Under previous schemes, graduates have been awarded with thousands in annual payments for training as teachers in subjects seen as vital to the economy.
Lord Coe, a double 1,500m Olympic champion, reflected on his own sporting education within the state system to illustrate his point, and that it was a geography teacher who urged him to take up athletics seriously.
He said: "All my competitive sport took place outside the curriculum and the normal school day. They were not always physical education teachers that were inspiring kids like me to play sport."
Lord Coe said improving conditions for school sport faced challenges such as the sell-off of playing fields and an "anti-competitive ethos" dating back to the teacher training colleges of the 1960s.
He said figures showing that 70% of parents said their children were much more positive about sport than they were before the Games must be built upon.
"That is not a platform we can allow to crumble under our feet," he said.
Lord Coe also said the issue of school sport should be dealt with in a "grown-up" way with "a more consensual cross-party approach", and that it was "frustrating" that this was not already the case.
He suggested that the enthusiasm of the thousands of "Games Maker" volunteers who helped make the Olympics such a success could be utilised by sending them into school clubs and voluntary organisations.
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