The review group, made up of education and physical activity experts from across Wales, estimates it would cost £5million a year to make PE a core subject - but says the cost should be set against the £73m annual cost of the health service dealing with obesity.
The report states that giving PE core-subject status would result in:
- Teachers being required to be competent to deliver the subject on completion of their teacher training
- Well-qualified, specialist teachers being employed to work with schools to ensure high-quality provision
- Standards and provision in physical education being rigorously reviewed in school.
Making PE a core subject alongside English, Welsh, maths and science would help tackle the problem of childhood obesity, according to a report.
It calls for PE to be a subject which is formally and regularly assessed and for teachers to be 'throughly prepared' in initial training.
– Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson
Evidence shows that we are facing a ticking obesity time-bomb and, unless we make physical education a core subject, we will still be here in 20 years' time having made little or no progress.
The Schools and Physical Activity Task and Finish Group consulted with a range of education, spot, leisure and cultural organisations across Wales, as well as speaking to children and young people, in compiling the report.
The report says the only way to make 'physical literacy' as important in schools as reading, writing and numeracy, is to give PE 'core-subject status.'
It also calls for a 'National Physical Literacy Framework' to support PE teaching in schools, similar to those used for numeracy and literacy.
Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson is calling on the Welsh Government to give school PE lessons the same importance as English or maths.
Baroness Grey-Thompson will be in in Cardiff today to present a report to Education Minister Leighton Andrews and Sports Minister John Griffiths at Herbert Thompson Primary School in Ely, in her role as chair of the Schools and Physical Activity Task Group.