Education ‘starting to realise value of sport’
CURRENT provision of school sport is ‘scratching the surface of what we can do’ and lessons will be more targeted with greater States support, the Guernsey Sports Commission’s operations director has said.
Education, Sport & Culture announced on Wednesday that it would provide £200,000 a year to the PE in Schools programme.
It currently receives half that and is run and funded by the Guernsey Sports Commission through corporate sponsorship.
Operations director Graham Chester said he and his team were ‘very excited’ to have the chance to increase what they do for the benefit of school children.
‘At the moment we are scratching the surface and this will allow us to be far more targeted in the work that we do. Each school will be different,’ he said.
‘We will be able to focus more on upskilling the teachers and increasing the number of staff that we have. With the additional resources, we will be able to give more time and support to children.’
As part of ESC’s commitment to greater funding, the programme is set to be extended to St Anne’s in Alderney for the first time.
‘We have never been involved at St Anne’s before as it is not really in our remit, but we are quite happy to take that on and, although it is still early days, we are looking forward to progressing that,’ said Mr Chester.
PE in Schools is delivered through a partnership between schools and sports development officers, but schools will now have greater access to sports professionals, coaching opportunities and professional development, with the equipment and kit they take into schools also being upgraded.
The Guernsey Sports Commission set up the programme in 2010. Sports development officers delivered more than 1,000 sessions to 1,250 primary school children last year alone.
The enhanced programme was drawn up after meetings with head teachers, sport development officers, colleagues working on health improvements and students.
‘Deputy Fallaize and the board have been very supportive, so hats off to them, they actually realise the value of school sports,’ said Mr Chester.
‘We hope this is the start of something and we are very excited and looking forward to the future.’