Schools cut time for PE lessons by more than 20%

Schools are cutting the amount of time they dedicate to PE despite warnings of a growing youth obesity crisis.

An analysis shows that the number of hours spent on sports lessons has fallen by 21 per cent on average for GCSE pupils in the last six years.

For pupils aged 11 to 14, hours have been cut by 5 per cent. The findings come after a recent study from King’s College London found that 25 per cent of girls and 24 per cent of boys between 11 and 15 are obese.

For pupils aged 11 to 14, hours have been cut by 5 per cent. The findings come after a recent study from King’s College London found that 25 per cent of girls and 24 per cent of boys between 11 and 15 are obese (file image)

For pupils aged 11 to 14, hours have been cut by 5 per cent. The findings come after a recent study from King’s College London found that 25 per cent of girls and 24 per cent of boys between 11 and 15 are obese (file image)

Critics said yesterday that government pressure to concentrate on academic subjects has led to some schools squeezing out sports.

The figures come from an analysis of teachers’ working patterns between 2011 and 2017 by the Times Educational Supplement.

Alison Oliver, chief executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said the reduction in PE hours was ‘very worrying’ because of its implications for ‘physical, social and emotional health’. She added: ‘Young people have probably never needed PE more.’

Children’s commissioner Anne Longfield added: ‘It is disappointing to see many schools are spending less time on PE when we know that our children are the least active generation ever and that just one in four boys and one in five girls in England do the

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