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SCHOOLS COMMITTED TO ENSURING THAT SPORTSMEN AND WOMEN OF THE FUTURE GO THE DISTANCE

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Specialist sports colleges and schools involved in the Physical ...
Specialist sports colleges and schools involved in the Physical

Education, School Sport and Club Links strategy are committed to

helping gifted and talented pupils in physical education (PE) reach

their potential, but there is still much to be done to ensure

sufficient attention is given to their needs, a new report published

by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) finds today.

Provision for gifted and talented pupils in physical education,

examines the existing provision for gifted and talented pupils in PE

and school sport and the impact of the government's gifted and

talented programme.

The programme was launched in September 2003 in specialist sports

colleges and schools which form school sport partnerships. It is

dedicated to improving the range and quality of teaching, coaching

and learning for pupils talented in sports in order to raise their

attainment, aspirations, motivation and self-esteem.

Chief inspector of schools, David Bell, said:

'The start of the Olympics highlights how important it is to ensure

that youngsters with a special talent for sport are given every

opportunity to realise their potential through PE and school sport.

'These talented pupils could well be our sporting stars of the

future. PE and school sport can help give them the knowledge,

understanding and skills they need when they make the choice of

playing sport either recreationally or professionally.

'Schools are committed to realising this goal through the

government's gifted and talented programme and this report finds some

pupils are benefiting from this already.'

The report found that schools involved in the programme are enthusiastic about developing provision for talented pupils. However, as the programme is at

different stages in different schools it is 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. The majority of schools have

a whole-school coordinator for gifted and talented pupils and a

designated coordinator for PE. Their vision and commitment to

improve provision for all pupils are crucial factors in ensuring that

the needs of talented pupils are addressed. Systems and criteria for

identifying talented pupils are good or better in just over half of

the schools. 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. Schools are increasingly grouping pupils according

to their ability and this is helping teachers to target pupils' needs

more rigorously. Mentoring for talented young people is also

developing in most schools to help talented pupils cope with the

demands of homework, schoolwork and training.

To improve provision for talented pupils, policy makers including the

Department for Education and Skills and the Department for Culture,

Media and Sport, should:

* develop clearer criteria on the generic characteristics of talented

performers to help teachers and coaches identify pupils with

potential or those who are underachieving;

* provide more guidance on how schools should evaluate the impact of

the resources deployed in the programme on improving provision and

pupils' performance, motivation and self-esteem;

* offer guidance on how schools might improve the quality of teaching

to meet the needs of talented pupils.

To improve provision for talented pupils, schools should:

* use clearer criteria to identify talented pupils, particularly

those who have potential or who are underachieving;

* give greater emphasis to the evaluation of provision for gifted and

talented pupils and the impact of funding;

* raise teachers' expectations of talented pupils to ensure that they

pay greater attention to their needs.

NOTES

1. The report, Provision for gifted and talented pupils in physical

education (HMI 2149) is available here.

2. The report was launched to coincide with The Olympic Games in

Athens, Greece.

3. 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. 142 sports colleges received funding of

up to£2,000 to implement the programme by March 2004, in partnership

with 112 schools.

4. Her Majesty's Inspectors (HMI) and Additional Inspectors (AI)

visited 39 specialist sports colleges, looking at the provision for

talents pupils in PE and school sport. The report also draws on

additional evidence from HMI visits to School Sport Partnerships and

Ofsted school inspections.

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