One Dance UK comments on Ofsted’s physical education subject report

Read our comments on the recent Ofsted Physical Education subject report, featured in Cultural Learning Alliance’s October Policy & Practice roundup.

01 November 2023 Posted by One Dance Team


We recently contributed to Cultural Learning Alliance’s October Policy and Practice roundup, commenting on the recent Ofsted Physical Education subject report.

“Ofsted’s recent report ‘Levelling the playing field: the physical education subject report’, highlights the dramatic inequalities and injustices that exist around access to high-quality dance education. The report finds that in over a third of schools, dance is either not taught to all pupils or not at all. It further highlights that pupils regularly experience dance activities where learning is not clear or well-organised and where staff lack confidence and subject-specific knowledge.  

These findings echo and amplify One Dance UK’s grave concerns that - despite being a compulsory feature of the English National Curriculum – dance as an educational subject has been marginalised and attacked at every turn in recent decades. Shifting educational priorities, a focus on a narrow ‘knowledge based’ curriculum, punitive school accountability measures and funding challenges have all played their part. The damage has been further exacerbated by a negative rhetoric around dance and other arts-based subjects being ‘non-priority’, ‘low value’ and ‘Mickey Mouse subjects’, used at government level and through the media.  

The creative industries contribute significantly to the UK economy and are demonstrating enormous growth. Furthermore, the UK is facing both a mental health pandemic and an obesity crisis amongst its children and young people. Given this context, it is nonsensical that a subject like dance, which is proven to contribute positively to physical fitness, mental wellbeing and creative learning, is not a national priority. Dance must be protected and celebrated as an educational subject area, through appropriate ringfenced funding, a review and reform of school accountability measures and through public recognition of its positive contribution to society, health and the economy.”

Read the full article here: