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Physical Education and Sport at School in Europe

EU countries are currently planning physical education reform

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The report is the result of an in depth analysis of primary data provided by Eurydice national units and can be regarded as the first attempt by the European Commission to identify key concerns and strengths regarding physical education at school across European countries.

Physical education is compulsory in all examined national

curricula at primary and lower secondary level. For

almost all countries, the main aim of physical education

lies in fostering children’s physical, personal and social development. Promoting a healthy lifestyle is also often emphasised and health education has become its own

mandatory subject in Ireland, Cyprus and Finland.

Learning outcomes of physical education are closely

related to its main aims. Some countries, such as

Germany, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Nordic

countries, take a cross-curricular approach to the subject

at school. This means that aspects of, for example, social

and natural sciences are explored during physical

education and vice versa, showing how subjects are interrelated.

Almost all countries assess personal progress and achievements in physical education. Around one-third of respondent countries of the report are currently planning reforms relevant to physical education. Portugaland Finland, for example, are intending to raise the profileof physical activities directly by increasing the mínimum taught time. Greece and Hungary intend to diversify the provision of organised physical activity at school.

In Bulgaria, a new Law on school education is expected to come into force in 2013. It provides for the adoption of a new state education standard in physical education, which will affect school sports facilities. In Bulgaria, for example a new Law on school education is expected to come into force in 2013. It provides for the adoption of a new state education standard in physical education, which will affect school sports facilities.

A new government programme in Finland aims to strengthen the teaching of physical education. The Ministry ofEducation has thus made a proposal to increase the annual amount of time devoted to the subject throughout the wholeof compulsory education (years 1-9) as from the 2016/17 school year. The amount of time will be increased from anaverage of 57 to 63 hours a year.

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