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Secondary PE teachers win race to be the best

Secondary PE teachers are the best in the country, says the chief inspector's report.

David Bell said that PE teaching is good or better in 84 per cent of secondaries, ranking higher than that in English, history and art and design.

His report reveals wide variations between the quality of teaching in different subjects with primary RE and secondary citizenship among the worst.

Fewer than half of primaries provide good RE although inspectors said just 3 per cent of schools had RE teaching which was unsatisfactory.

Primary geography, identified by Ofsted earlier this year as the worst taught subject, and primary science were unsatisfactory in 4 per cent of schools. The worst-taught secondary subjects were citizenship, RE and music with one in 12 secondaries providing unsatisfactory teaching.

Food technology was also a cause for concern. Mr Bell said efforts to improve children's nutrition and health were being held back by a shortage of specialist teachers and because some pupils cannot afford the ingredients.

The report said: "While schools are increasingly reviewing the provision in canteens and vending machines, the teaching of cooking and nutrition in food technology is often given too little time."

The popularity of modern languages, which rated among the worst-taught secondary subjects, continues to decline after the age of 14, when it is now optional. Mr Bell said the subject was in danger of becoming the preserve of middle-class girls. By contrast, five subjects, English, art and design, history, PE and business education are taught well in more than three-quarters of secondaries.

Mr Bell's report once again highlighted the difference in standards between core and foundation subjects in primary schools.

The report said: "In well over half of schools, provision in the core subjects has improved well since the previous inspection. Improvements in the foundation subjects have been much less pronounced."

The report is based on inspections carried out between September 2003 and July 2005.

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