Monday, 21 June 2010

2010 Shape of the Nation Report

Originally assembled by Brett at Exergaming Australia.

Reading over this report reminds me of the abysmal condition of health and physical education (HPE) in Australia. The status of PE in the US is appalling, it hardly seems possible that it could be worse in Australia. How can the health and wellbeing of Australian children be relegated to a lower priority than English, Mathematics or the Arts?

The first two stages of our new national curriculum do NOT include a HPE component, it is not considered a priority by the Federal Education Minister, Julia Gillard or the current State and Territory Education Ministers, incredible!

Chair of the National Preventative Health Taskforce, Prof. Rob Moodie:
"..recent trends predict that the life expectancy of Australian children alive today will fall TWO years by the time they are 20 years old because of obesity. This is an awful legacy for us to leave our children. Schools are an essential part of developing a healthier and more active Australia. If health and physical education are not priorities then they won't be priorities in everyday Australian life."

Key Australian notaries from the Heart Foundation, Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, Public Health Association, Cancer Council Australia, Australian Medical Association, ACHPER, The Nossal Institute for Global Health and PHAA have jointly petitioned Julia Gillard to consider the ramifications of  deprioritising the health of Australian youth. I truly hope their plea is taken onboard and our respective policy makers acknowledge and reprioritise HPE and institute a world class, modern day solution throughout Australia. I'm the eternal optomist!

A copy of the letter to Julia Gillard is included within this PDF.

I've reposted a blog showing the status of PE in the US. It seems hardly possible that Australia is in a worse situation.

Thanks to Tommy at Exergame Fitness USA for the content below:

The Shape of the Nation Report provides a current picture of physical education (PE) in the American education system. Incremental improvements have been made in the last few years in the number of states that now require PE (17% increase) and student assessment in PE (26% increase). However, the Report shows that more states now allow waivers and exemptions from PE classes (77% increase) and no progress has been made in providing daily physical education in all grades K-12.
  • The Shape of Physical Education in 2010:
  • Only five states require physical education in every grade K-12.
  • Only one state aligns with the nationally recommended 150 minutes per week of PE in elementary school and 225 minutes per week in middle and high school.
  • More than half of all states (32) permit waivers and/or exemptions for students from taking PE, a 77% increase from 2006.
  • Forty-eight states (94%) have their own state standards for physical education, but only 34 states (67%) require local districts to comply or align with these standards.
  • Only 19 states (37%) require some form of student assessment in physical education.
  • Fewer states (14 vs. 22 in 2006) require physical education grades to be included in students’ grade point averages.
  • Only 13 states (25%) require schools to measure Body Mass Index (BMI) and/or height and weight for each student.
At a time when the First Lady is highlighting the obesity epidemic among our youth and the role that schools can play, physical education should be given a priority in public and education policy.
Download the full 2010 Shape of the Nation Report: Status of Physical Education in the USA from NASPE and the American Heart Association. Also, be sure to check out the Executive Summary and Table of Contents.

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