The Australian Government's school funding legislation 2005 to 2008, implemented new mandatory national regulations concerning physical education (PE) classes in both government and non-government schools.
All schools are now required to include 2 hours of timetabled PE classes each week for both primary and lower secondary school children. Up until this new regulation came into force there was no mandatory amount of PE required in schools. Full details can be found at the Federal Government's Healthy Active website.
It is important that physical education classes in schools are inclusive and incorporate activities for different ability levels as well as different interests. Many children are not interested in participating in competitive organised sport, and become disillusioned with PE classes very quickly.
PE can be made an inclusive and positive experience for all children by schools also offering a variety of non-competitive activities as well as the more traditional games. For example dancing, aerobics, trampolining and yoga are all popular non-competitive activities that are excellent for general fitness.
Schools should also place an emphasis on teaching young children fundamental movement skills. This will equip them with the essential skills they require to become proficient in other sports as they grow older.
Schools must ensure that PE classes:
- offer a variety of sports to appeal to a broad section of children
- include a mixture of competitive and non-competitive sports
- are a fun and positive experience
- are suitable for all ability levels
- utilise correct equipment that is kept in good condition
- are properly planned to ensure skill development, enjoyment and maximum participation