AQA Specification changes

AQA decided earlier this year to change some of the content of PHED 1. These changes were for first teaching in September 2014 and for possible examining in the summer 2015 series.

They removed the out of date content concerning government initiatives (PESSCL, School Sports Coordinators, Sports Colleges and Active Sports), and replaced these with content concerning the main role of the key organisations that help to increase participation in PE and sport, and encourage lifelong participation in physical activity.

AQA produced a summative document to outline the main roles of these organisations.

Sport England is the organisation that funds projects to increase participation at ‘grass roots’ level in England. It works with other organisations such as National Governing Bodies, Local Authorities, charities and many others who are all trying to get people involved in sporting activities. The key phrase currently being used by Sport England is ‘create a sporting habit for life’. All this requires funding/money, and Sport England are that source of money for any aspect of increasing participation, whether its improving facilities, providing equipment or supplementing other forms of income, then a group (not an individual!) can apply to Sport England for help.


Creating a sporting habit for life: A new youth sport strategy

In 2012, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) introduced the initiative ‘Creating a sporting habit for life: A new youth sport strategy’. That’s the key phrase for all this stuff. The aim of the initiative was to use the success of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to inspire everybody, but especially young people, to get involved in sport in some way and so create ‘a sporting habit for life’. In practical terms, it’s Sport England that delivers the DCMS/government’s ideas, which fall into two main strands.


1. Inspiring a generation of young people to take up sport as a habit for life

The London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games were expected to increase participation in sport in this country. But past Olympics have suggested that this has often been a short-term consequence, whereas developing a long-term commitment to sporting activity is much harder, hence the idea of creating a sporting habit for life – you’re going to get bored of that phrase!.

Prior to 2012, participation rates in sport were falling, especially amongst the 16-25 age group. The compulsory P.E. curriculum keeps participation rates high for school-age children. It’s when they leave school that the proportion who continue to play sport falls dramatically. The problem is especially alarming for girls, where only about 33% are still participating in sport at the age of 18 (in boys it’s nearer 67%). This drop-out – it used to be called the post-school gap – is a major concern to the government/DCMS because of the loss of benefits to society because of the lack of participation in physical activity.


Time for a question – what are the benefits to society of increased participation in physical activity? (Answer at the end of this article)


The new Youth Sport Strategy aims to increase the number of young people developing sport as a habit for life. It’s a strategy; a plan. It involves a time-scale and funding/ investment. The DCMS through Sport England wants to increase participation among young people. So the plan is to provide money (£1 billion) over the duration of the strategy. The idea started in 2011 and is due to run until 2017. The way DCMS/Sport England will do that is to work with the people/organisations already involved in sport -– to improve the sporting offer that we make available to them.


Another question for you – who are ‘the people/organisations already involved in sport’? (Answer at the end again).


How DCMS/Sport England go about doing this is fairly simple – just try to improve what to a large extent, is already in existence. There are five core stands to the strategy, involving competitive school sport, improving school-club links, NGB funding into youth sport, improving facilities and developing the voluntary sector.

Another question. Outline the main aims of the voluntary sector. (Answer at end)


As this is DCMS strategy involving funding and a time scale, it must also have an aim or target result. In this case, the aim is an increase in participation (measured by surveys/ questionnaires), especially among young people. They also want to see the development and maintenance of links between schools and sports clubs in local communities so that people know where to go when they leave school to continue their sporting involvement.

Sport England has then to deliver this strategy by:

• Developing and sustaining competitive sport in schools through ‘the School Games’, which provides a framework for competitive school sport at school, district, county and national levels. Funding of over £150m has been secured until 2015. In addition, PE will remain a compulsory part of the National Curriculum.

• Improving the links between schools and community sports clubs. Sport England highlighted Football, Cricket, Rugby Union, Rugby League and Tennis in attempting to establish at least 6,000 partnerships between schools and local sports clubs by 2017. To ease the transition from school to club sport, the intention is that every secondary school and many primary schools will have links with at least one local club. In addition, every County Sport Partnership will have a dedicated officer responsible for making links between schools and community sports clubs in their local area.

• Working with National Governing Bodies; getting them to spend around 60 per cent of their funding on activities that promote sport as a habit for life amongst young people. Remember that many/most NGBs receive grants form Sport England for developing grass roots involvement. So Sport England can insist on payment by results – including the withdrawal of funding from governing bodies that fail to deliver agreed objectives.

• Providing more money (£160m) for new and upgraded sports facilities, on top of the £90m already invested via Sport England’s Places, People, Play programme. Much of this money is allow schools to open up their sports facilities to the public.

• Communities and the voluntary sector will have access to funds (over £50m) to help them provide appealing sporting experiences for young people.


Easy question. What are the five main ways that the DCMS’s Youth Sport Strategy aims to increase the number of young people developing sport as a habit for life? (Answer at end)


2. Sportivate

Sportivate is a £56 million Lottery funded Sport England initiative based around the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics. Its aim is to give more young people the chance to have a go at different sports in the hope that a sport that they love.

The programme gives 14-25 year-olds who are not particularly sporty access to six-to-eight weeks’ of free or subsidised coaching in a wide range of sports, including judo, golf, tennis, wakeboarding, athletics, and parkour/free running. These are advertised locally.

During their time involved, those taking part can work towards an event or personal challenge and when the free or low-cost coaching has finished they will be supported to continue playing that sport.

Sportivate was originally launched in June 2011 as a four-year programme, but to was so successful that additional funding of £10m per year has been found to allow the programme to run until March 2017, so it stays around for the rest of the life of this specification.

Since September 2013, Sportivate has extending its age group so that 11-13 year-olds can also take part. Sportivate is inclusive (anybody can get involved) and targets a variety of young people who may not have suitable opportunities, including those who have a disability and people from black and minority ethnic groups.


A suggestion (rather than a question) here would be to get students to research Sportivate on the web and identify local Sportivate opportunities to discover the detail of what’s available – they might even become involved themselves!


Benefits to society of increased participation


1. Social control/occupy people’s leisure time/channel energies positively/crime prevention/keep them off the streets;
2. Increased health – less strain on health services;
3. Facility development/Neighbourhood regeneration;
4. Success at international level / more medals/national pride;
5. Inclusiveness / reduce social exclusion /integration of community;


People involved in sport

1. Schools, colleges and universities/education;
2. Local County Sports Partnerships;
3. National Governing Bodies for sport;
4. Local authorities/council;
5. Voluntary sector/clubs;


Aims of the voluntary sector

1. Provide for grass roots of sport;
2. Foundation/participation level;
3. Tries to increase participation/equal opportunities;
4. Improve performance levels in their sport/look for talent;
5. Meet up with people with similar interests/social.


Youth Sport Strategy

1. Competitive sport;
2. School-club links;
3. NGB funding for youth sport;
4. Facility development;
5. Voluntary sector;

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