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Pupils should spend as much time in PE as they do in English and maths - Darcey Bussell

ResearchED founder Tom Bennett dismisses idea, saying English and maths as 'still gateway disciplines for all learning'

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ResearchED founder Tom Bennett dismisses idea, saying English and maths as 'still gateway disciplines for all learning'

Children should spend as much time in sports lessons as they do in English or maths, a Strictly Come Dancing judge has said.

Dame Darcey Bussell, who is filming a documentary about how dancing gives people confidence, told the Sunday Times: “I think we should have four hours of PE a week”.

She said: “At many schools, children do two hours a week of PE, or less. For the health and wellbeing of our children, they have to be active all the time . . . it is very alarming.”

She was reported as adding that children should spend as much time in sports lessons as they have to do in English, and again in maths.

The government does not set a target of how much curriculum time schools should spend on PE, having abolished a goal of the previous Labour government to increase the proportion of children who spend a minimum of two hours a week on “high quality PE and school sport”.

However, then-education secretary Michael Gove said he expected “every school to want to maintain, as a minimum, the current levels of provision for PE and sport each week for every pupil”.

Dame Darcey’s call for PE to be given equal time as maths and English was dismissed by Tom Bennett, founder director of ResearchED, who tweeted: “Maths & English still gateway disciplines for all learning. And 2 hours statutory PE plus clubs plus structured opportunities to exercise at break and lunch is still a hearty offer.”

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