The Youth Sport Trust’s Chris Smith outlines a free online resource hub developed to support teachers to include all young people in their PE and school sport offer.
The Inclusive Education Hub is the result of collaboration between schools, expert practitioners and local and national partners and has been developed based on the growing concern that many children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) continue to miss out on or have negative experiences of PE and school sport.
The hub has been developed as part of the Inclusion 2024 project, which is aiming to increase and improve
opportunities for children and young people with 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.
Acting as both a self-assessment tool and a national knowledge platform, the hub aims to provide teachers with the knowledge and confidence to create inclusive PE and school sport practices for children and young people of all abilities. By signing up and completing a short self-assessment, teachers can reflect on their inclusive practices and receive personalised reports suggesting resources, actions and considerations to improve their inclusive practice.
Jon White at Clare Mount Specialist Sports College recognised the benefits the hub could bring to sports and PE in educational settings. “I’m a teacher and the hub is incredibly useful for me” he said.
“It is a great tool to manage your own learning journey and development in the knowledge you might be looking
for. If you are a PE lead and you have staff you want to develop they can find different resources on the site. If you are involved with training teachers, this is the best way to start the conversation around what good inclusive practice looks like.”
The Inclusive Education Hub has been developed off the back of evidence that children and young people with SEND are less active and have less opportunities to engage in high quality PE and school sport.
I was not invited to represent my school in any competitions
Sessions were not accessible. They asked me to fit in but the sessions should have been made to fit the person
A lack of opportunities in sport, based on lack of understanding, knocked his confidence, self-worth and wellbeing
Research conducted by Activity Alliance has shown that only 25 per cent of young disabled people participate
in PE and sport all the time, compared with over 40 per cent of non-disabled children. Additionally, Sport England’s Active Lives survey has highlighted that disabled young people often feel lonelier, and sport can play a crucial role in creating a sense of belonging.
Inclusion 2024 is capturing the experiences of schools, teachers and other practitioners about the importance
of staff feeling supported, informed and knowledgeable, as this leads to increased confidence. By providing a
comprehensive online resource hub, the project seeks to fill knowledge gaps and provide immediate tips and relevant resources to improve inclusive practice.
Feedback from young people involved in the Inclusion 2024 Live Youth Panel in February 2022 outlined the barriers they have faced at school, which resulted in either having negative experiences in PE and school
sport or missing out completely.
ABOUT INCLUSION 2024
Inclusion 2024 aims to increase and improve opportunities for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to engage and participate in physical education and school sport.
The initiative 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.
Inclusion 2024 works collaboratively with pupils, schools and expert practitioners, along with local and national partners, to improve the quality and accessibility of opportunities for SEND pupils to participate, engage and learn through PE and School Sport (PESS).
The programme works to reimagine the role PESS can play for pupils with SEND, reconnect pupils following the negative impact of COVID, and support active recovery of pupils, increasing physical health and social wellbeing.
The programme aims to:
- Improve the quality of schools’ PE and sports teaching and provision for pupils with SEND.
- Increase opportunities for pupils with SEND to achieve 30 active minutes within the school day. Increase the engagement and participation of pupils with SEND with PE and school sport.
- Improve the quality of swimming and water safety lessons for pupils with SEND.
- Facilitate integration of PE and school sport provision for pupils with SEND.
- To access the Inclusive Education Hub and benefit from its resources and self assessment tool, teachers and school staff can sign up for free on the platform.
(The teachers) made assumptions about what I could do and assumed I should just sit out of dodgeball and netball "I was seen as incapable, which played a huge part in how I viewed myself and my ‘lack of’ abilities
My PE experiences were not positive
School sport didn’t fill me up with any happy memories. My sports journey started when I left school
The hub focuses on four key themes:
- School leadership and governance
- Delivery and training
- People engagement
- Extracurricular activities
While the primary audience for the Inclusive Education Hub is PE teachers in England, the platform is open and accessible to anyone interested in inclusive PE and school sport. By using the hub’s resources and completing the self-assessment, teachers and school staff can play a vital role in improving the quality and accessibility of PE and school sport for children with SEND.
- Register and access the Inclusion 2024 Inclusive Education Hub here: https://bit.ly/3K1roub
Chris Smith is the development manager for Inclusion at Youth Sport Trust leading on the SEND work for the trust, including Inclusion 2024, and overseeing the national Lead Inclusion School network. For more than 15 years he has worked in sport development and disability sport roles both in the UK and New Zealand.
Catch-up with nasen Connect
nasen Connect magazine November/December 2023
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The July/August edition features articles on Assistive Technology, mental health and marginalised communities and inclusivity in practice in relation to young people with SEND the workplace.