HCM Issue 7 2022

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Evidence

Building skills Tom Walker investigates how £2.2bn worth of London 2012 legacy investment has failed to empower teachers

T photo: Shutterstock/Andreshkova Nastya

he London 2012 Olympic legacy investment designed to improve physical education (PE) at primary schools has failed, according to a study. Academics at the University of Winchester looked into the effects of £2.2bn worth of investment in primary PE since 2012. It showed that, despite the substantial investment, there had been no recognisable improvement in the standard of PE teaching at primary school level. The study was conducted by Dr Vicky Randall, senior fellow in the Institute of Education at the University of Winchester, and Gerald Griggs, dean and head of academics, University Campus of Football Business (Etihad Campus).It looked into the effects of the £2.2bn investment, known as the Primary PE and School Sport Premium (or ‘Premium’). Legacy hopes Report co-author Randall says: “The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London were billed as the ‘Legacy Games’. “The Capital was poised to host a global event that, through the power of sport, promised

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Issue 7 2022 ©Cybertrek 2022

to have a major impact on health, education and culture, as well as boosting the economy through ambitious infrastructure projects. She continues: “Physical education (PE) in primary schools in England was to be a significant benefactor, with the aim of inspiring the youngest school-aged children. “Renewed investment in PE would be crucial when it came to delivering much of the Games’ legacy.” ‘Failed to deliver’ “But despite a direct investment of more than £2.2bn into primary PE since 2012 – making it the highest-funded subject at primary age – we have identified a clear failure of this Olympic investment to deliver on one of its stated aims of increasing the ‘confidence, knowledge and skills of all [primary] staff in teaching PE and sport’. “We found there is little evidence of any legacy of improved PE teaching within England’s primary school sector. “Final-year primary education trainees who took part in our latest research told us it was difficult for them to even observe a primary PE lesson as part of their teacher-training. For most, teaching a PE lesson was not an option,” says Randall.