Please select your home edition
Edition app (top)

Let’s get sailing and windsurfing reinstated to the published PE activity list

by Loretta Spridgeon 14 Nov 08:03 GMT
Let's get sailing and windsurfing reinstated to the published PE activity list © RYA

The Department for Education (DfE) has released its public consultation and is now inviting proposals to add activities to the published GCSE, AS and A level physical education (PE) activity list.

Sailing and windsurfing, along with several other sports, were removed by the DfE from the list of activities eligible for practical assessment at GCSE, AS-level and A-level in 2014.

The DfE's Awarding Organisations determined that students cannot be assessed in a recreational form of the activity. Their list is based upon the suitability of activities as a means of assessing students' skills as part of a physical education qualification.

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) challenged the Awarding Organisations' analysis of the suitability of activities to be included in the eligible list, both in its response to the DfE's initial consultation and directly with the Secretary of State for Education, on the basis that the Awarding Organisations' assessment methodologies was flawed and that sailing and windsurfing were no more difficult to assess than several other sports that remain on the list.

Lobbying activity

Since the DfE confirmed its decision in 2014, the RYA has continued to lobby the Secretary of State for Education and the Sports Minister in an effort to have sailing and windsurfing reinstated in the list of eligible activities.

It is acknowledged that a significant proportion of those who enjoy sailing do so on a recreational (i.e. non-competitive) basis but the same is true of canoeing, cycling, equestrian, kayaking, golf, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding and swimming, yet all of these other sports remain on the PE activity list.

The RYA believes that just because people enjoy an activity on a recreational basis, it should not preclude those who participate on a competitive basis from being assessed as part of a Physical Education GCSE, AS Level or A Level.

The RYA's challenge to have sailing and windsurfing reinstated is based on substantial insight and observations from within the education sector – most notably from Bill Lucas, Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning and Professor of Learning at the University of Winchester. Over the years, Professor Lucas has worked extensively with the RYA to demonstrate the vast learning and personal development opportunities available to young people through learning to sail or windsurf.

Youth development

Sailing and windsurfing are heavily influenced by natural forces. Wind speed and direction, tides and currents and the severity of the weather will have a big influence on when we take to the water and how we act when on it. Understanding these 'uncontrollable' elements, and how to work with them, as well as knowing that they can quickly change and managing this, are essential elements of learning to sail or windsurf and mirror similar situations and challenges that young people will meet in everyday life.

Helming a boat, charting a course and being aware of or adapting to other boats on the water also requires us to make our own decisions and choices, sometimes with little time to react. And working as part of, or perhaps leading a team, means listening, understanding and communicating and brings a new set of challenges and responsibilities that can aid character and personal development.

The situations and opportunities that sailing and windsurfing provide for young people can also build powerful connections to their home and school life, developing their people and social skills as well as their performance.

Take action today

The RYA is encouraging its members and supporters, as well as parents and teachers, to submit their own responses to the consultation. A detailed briefing paper containing the RYA's comments on the Government's seven criteria is available on request (email or call 023 8060 4223), which can be used as a base for consultation responses.

Howard Pridding, RYA Director of External Affairs, said: "Being on the water creates multiple situations where young people are challenged and tested as they learn a new sport or activity. That's why we are engaging fully with this review process in an effort to have sailing and windsurfing reinstated on the PE activity list.

"We know that there is an enormous amount of passion and willingness to support the reinstatement of sailing and windsurfing to the list of assessed sports, and we hope that our 112,000-strong membership base will be able to help us to achieve this.

"The more responses there are, the more likely we are to be successful so we would encourage RYA members and the parents of sailors and windsurfers to take part in the consultation."

The public consultation closes on 20 December 2018. For more guidance on how to respond to the consultation, please contact the RYA Cruising, Legal and Government Affairs team at .

Responses to the review should be submitted to the government.

Related Articles

RYA introduces new English Regional Forum
To further enhance its engagement with members and stakeholders A decision has been taken by the RYA Board of Directors to create a new English Regional Forum (ERF) to further enhance its effective engagement with its 112,000 members and many valued stakeholders. Posted on 9 Dec
RYA Webinar on part two of the new IPV Code
Race Support Boats webinar set to take place on 13 December 2018 On Thursday, 13 December at 12:00pm, the Royal Yachting Association will be holding a webinar on Part 2 of the Code of Practice for Intended Pleasure Vessels in Temporary Commercial Use at Sea, looking at the details of the Code and how to comply. Posted on 8 Dec
LIVE WEBINAR: Alternative club activity
Hear how other sailing clubs boosted activity and membership Following on from the recent webinar focusing on pay and play activity, the next in the series will focus on alternative club activity. Posted on 6 Dec
FlexiSail joins as RYA Member Reward Partner
Providing exclusive offers and discounts to its 112,000 members The RYA is delighted to welcome FlexiSail, the boat share membership company, to the Member Reward Partner programme, providing exclusive offers and discounts to its 112,000 members. Posted on 1 Dec
Young OnBoarders awarded boats and boards by JMST
Twelve promising sailors and windsurfers will benefit The delighted dozen, who hail from across the UK, have been awarded exclusive use of their own boat or windsurfing board for the next two years. Posted on 28 Nov
Sail Charter Int. join RYA Reward Partner Program
Worldwide yacht charter for an international clientele Sail Charter International is a yacht charter price comparison website that enables sailors to compare boats and offers in the yacht charter market anywhere in the world and now RYA members will be able to take advantage of an extra 5% discount. Posted on 24 Nov
RYA and HMRC meet to discuss red diesel situation
Update on Government response to EU ruling In effect, following the Court's ruling, the expectation of the European Commission is that the UK must stop allowing the use of red diesel for the purposes of propulsion of a private pleasure craft and must therefore switch to white diesel. Posted on 23 Nov
Royal recognition for boating's volunteers
Some 57 volunteers were recognised for their exceptional dedication and achievements 49 awards were presented by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, President of the RYA, at the prestigious event, held at One Great George Street, Westminster, London. Posted on 20 Nov
Exclusive benefits for RYA members
Receive up to £200 per cabin, additional on-board spending money The Summer 2020 holiday collection features a world of wonder at each new port of call... will you choose the cascading waterfalls and scenic splendour of Norway, or opt for the volcanic beaches of the Canaries... Posted on 18 Nov