Children and young people across the country are dealing with worrying levels of stress. But this isn’t healthy stress. The pressure to do well in exams means that many pupils are now suffering from mental health issues. And now, a survey has shown this obsession with delivering better exam results is driving many schools to cut down on physical education; which is only going to worsen the mental health of students.
PE provision has declined because core/eBacc subjects have been given additional time with students taken out of timetabled Physical Education for extra tuition in other subjects.
And increased competition is playing a role. As YST highlighted:
One in three [teachers] cited exam pressures as a key reason for the decline.
The importance of PE
In response to the survey results, YST chief executive Ali Oliver made it clear why PE is so important:
Like English and Maths, Physical Education should be part of the bedrock of a good education which equips young people with the vital skills which support their wellbeing, ability to learn in other subjects and help prepare them for employment.
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
A high quality Physical Education curriculum uses sport as a vehicle through which a joy of movement is established, life skills are developed and an understanding of a healthy lifestyle is acquired.
Cuts to Physical Education time are depriving young people of these benefits at a time when they have never needed them more. We will be selling this and future generations short if Physical Education is not made fit for the 21st century and put at the heart of a broad and balanced curriculum in our schools.
Many other experts emphasise just how beneficial PE is for pupils’ well-being and educational performance.
Mental health consequences
Childline previously revealed that it “delivered 3,135 counselling sessions on exam stress in 2016/17 – a rise of 11% over the past 2 years”. And the young people who called Childline for help said their exam stress has led to issues such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, low self-esteem, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and a worsening of mental health issues.
Exercise plays a crucial role in combating stress and mental health problems. So by cutting down on PE time, schools could be risking both pupils’ mental health and their exam performance. This certainly isn’t good for either schools or students. In spite of this, increased competition in the jobs market has encouraged many schools to prioritise a focus on exams over broader well-being.
– Contact Childline if you’re affected by exam stress.
– Join us, so we can keep bringing you the news that matters.
Featured image via screengrab
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?