Child and teacher in a school sports hall

New Inclusion 2024 Inclusive Education Hub to Improve Future PE Experiences

The new Inclusion 2024 inclusive education hub has been launched! (18th May 2022)

Education practitioners across England will have access to all the essential resources for inclusive PE in one space. It is created in partnership by Activity Alliance, Youth Sport Trust and Department for Education. The partners’ ambition is to support more teachers responsible for PE and school sport to engage more disabled students. The impact will mean more young people have accessible, positive, and meaningful experiences that will last a lifetime.

The Inclusion 2024 programme aims to increase and improve opportunities for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to engage and participate in physical education and school sport. The project is funded by the Department for Education and led by the Youth Sport Trust on behalf of a consortium of organisations including Activity Alliance, the British Paralympic Association, nasen and Swim England.

The new free online hub is a result of collaboration with schools, expert practitioners, local, and national partners. It is built based on the growing concern that many disabled children continue to miss out or have negative experiences in PE and school sport.

Findings from the My Active Future report, released by Activity Alliance in 2020, reinforced the activity gap between disabled and non-disabled children. Disabled children are less active than their peers and experience more barriers. Worryingly, the national charity and leading voice for disabled people in sport and activity, found:

  • One third of disabled children take part in less than 30 minutes of sport and physical activity per day during term-time (30% vs 21% of non-disabled children).
  • Only a quarter (25%) of disabled children say they take part in sport and activity all of the time at school, compared to 41% of non-disabled children.
  • Disabled children’s activity levels decrease significantly, as they get older. Activity levels for disabled and non-disabled children are similar when they first start school (Key Stage 1 83% during term-time compared to 84%). By age 11, disabled children are less likely to be ‘active or fairly active’ (Key Stage 2 – 77% vs 85%). The gap widens more significantly by the time they are 16 (Key Stage 4 – 52% vs 72%).
  • Disabled children are twice as likely to be lonely compared to their non-disabled peers (72% vs 36%). They are more likely to feel they have no one to talk to, feel left out, and to feel alone.

The Inclusion 2024 inclusive education hub allows teachers and school staff to privately self-assess their inclusion of disabled students in PE and school sport. The self-assessment questions explore their approach to inclusion across school leadership and management, inclusive teaching and training, pupil engagement, and extra-curricular provision. Practitioners then receive a personalised report, with advice and useful resources to improve their practice.

The hub also contains additional relevant resources, gathered from across the country and globe. This reduces searching time and gives teachers a ‘go-to’ place for inclusion knowledge. They can also return to the hub to retake the self-assessment in order to continually improve their practice.

Barry Horne MBE, Chief Executive at Activity Alliance, said:

“We know how important positive PE experiences are to ensure children go on to enjoy being active for life. Yet research shows not all young disabled people are included in PE and school sport. This is not right or fair – no child should be missing out or being left on the side-lines. That’s why we are proud to launch our new inclusive education hub, working with experts across sport and education. This fantastic new resource will support teachers across England to improve their inclusive PE delivery, and all for free. We hope it means a happier, healthier, more active future for many more children.”

Alison Oliver MBE, Chief Executive at Youth Sport Trust, said:

“As we build up to an exciting summer of inclusive sport with the inspiration of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the launch of the inclusive education hub today is a key milestone towards a future where every child feels they have a place to belong in sport. We know that teachers and school staff want to include all students within PE, but lack of training, support and confidence can sometimes be a barrier.

“Thanks to the joint expertise of schools, organisations and charities like ours through the Inclusion 2024 programme commissioned by the Department for Education, the hub will bring a range of resources together in one place to support teacher’s development. It will inspire true changemakers, encouraging them to self-review and providing the tools they need to increase opportunities for disabled young people to enjoy PE, school sport and physical activity.”

Will Quince, Children and Families Minister, said:

“All children should be able to take part in high-quality physical education, so I’m pleased that the launch of today’s Inclusion 2024 hub will provide practical support to schools to increase the opportunities for disabled young people and those with special educational needs.

“Sport can have a huge and positive impact on children’s physical and mental health. I would encourage all teachers and professionals working in the sector to check out the hub so that they can develop the skills and confidence they need to make PE as inclusive as possible.”

Alistair Crawford, Co-Chair for the National Network of Specialist Provision, said:

“Opportunities to engage positively with sport, play and PE have arguably never been more important for our students and school communities. This hub supports practitioners at all stages of their career to develop their confidence and skills. This support will help them to deliver engaging, inspiring sessions that promote active, healthy lifestyles. It helps connect the community of practice and provides a fantastic blueprint for all things inclusive sport and PE.”

Teachers, school staff and other associated professionals can register on the new Inclusion 2024 inclusive education hub here.

For more information or to ask further questions, please email or call 01509 227750.