Department of Exercise and Sport Science. Masters by Research The evolution of the 5 hour offer for youth sport: the perceptions and experiences of policy-makers and practitioners Jamie Gold. Aims.
Masters by Research
The evolution of the 5 hour offer for youth sport:
the perceptions and experiences of
policy-makers and practitioners
“A guide that establishes the parameters for decision making and action”
(Human Resource Council for the Voluntary and Non Profit Sector, 2009)
“A statement of intent regarding achieving, maintaining,
modifying or changing something”. Green (2010, p. 147)
“A set of interrelated decisions taken by a political actor or group of actors
concerning the selection of goals and the means of achieving them within
a specified situation where these decisions should, in principle, be within
the power of these actors to achieve”
Jenkins (as cited in Houlihan, 1997, p.3)
‘The provision of all 5-16 year olds with the weekly
opportunity to participate in two hours of high
quality National Curriculum PE and an additional
three hours of sport beyond the curriculum in
school, club and community settings’ DCSF (2007)
The Multiple Streams Framework (MSF - Kingdon, 1995)
identifies 4 pervading influences and a ‘policy window’:
- Derek (former officer directing PE/ sport across the DfES and
DCMS and currently a senior official with Sport England’s Young
- George (senior officer, Youth Sport Trust)
- Vincent (former Sport Unlimited officer,Sport England)
- Colin (former New Labour minister at the DCMS)
- Teresa (freelance consultant on PE, sport and governance)
“The two main drivers were school improvement; so academic attainment,
behaviour, attendance.....and it was the health agenda” - Derek (DfE/ DCMS)
“The health agenda has always been a bit marginal” - Teresa (Consultant)
“If I mentioned sport to the National Health Service,
they would just run a mile” - Vincent (Sport England)
Maximising the sporting legacy from London 2012 “absolutely”
became a key driver - Derek
“It was largely the opportunity to sustain this” - George (YST)
Youth sport policy was driven by a “combination” of agendas, which also embraced
sport for sport sake. “I went to try and create a structure for sport that in its self
would be seamless..... a cultural shift” - Colin (DCMS)
“concerted and collaborative lobbying” - Teresa (Consultant)
It was “not for sport for sport’s sake, it wasn’t put on the table for a love of PE; rather
it was put on the table because of what PE and school sport could do for school
improvement, behaviour and attendance” - Derek (DfE/ DCMS).
They “slowed down sports development immeasurably .....over the last two
decades.....Without my pragmatism and with (their) idealism, we wouldn’t
get anywhere.....I would say to the PE lot: ‘get over it. Join your thinking
around the (player) pathway’” - Vincent (Sport England)
“Well you know, the agenda for change around this stuff was just too significant, it
was too big, it was too fast moving to just give a lot of experts seats around the
table to contemplate what needed to happen” - George (YST).
“To change opportunities for kids across the spectrum”, but “we soon found
ourselves in the school sport territory” - George
“(school) was the place you can get to every kid..... (and where the ) system didn’t really think that school sport was that important.....it wasn’t really on anybody’s agenda” - George
“PE should have led the way with the YST in support, but unfortunately from a
PE point of view, it turned the other way, with the YST doing a bloody good job
of policy entrepreneur and implementation .....they managed their way
through the governmental morass very, very well” - Teresa
“When Blair came into power and he said the three priorities were ‘education,
education, education’; we then made damn sure that we demonstrated how
what we were doing could deliver what they wanted to achieve” - George
“(The) position of PE as a National Curriculum subject is the single most
important piece of policy that we have and it’s the one where we are the
most envied across the world. And there is no doubt.....PESSYP couldn’t
have been a success without that position, without that status” - Teresa.
“the vast majority” of PE teachers began seeing themselves as “sport teachers.....
seduced by.....a sport-led policy, paid for by education” - Teresa
“you will still hear of ministers and even the prime minister talking about sport
when they mean PE and I think that sometimes you just have to accept that...
it really doesn’t matter” - George
”.....the amount of resources brought to the table can often govern
and drive what that agenda is” - George
“(The) UK School Games kind of appeared.....somebody, somewhere in Government
wanted a school games..... And all of a sudden money became available from Lottery....
We were a bit mystified because we had done all this work with governing bodies
around performance pathways. Why would you need a separate pathway for schools.....
which nobody really needed? And that was pretty much the opinion” - Vincent
“If you don’t spend it, you lose it. And so there is real pressure on implementers like
me to actually make sure that you use public money really well and you’re spending it
having acquired it..... So it was incredibly well intended and when funding became
available we had to go. We just had to move on it” - Vincent
“until you understand why…..(and) how civil
servants get promoted, you will not
understand the policy process. Because it is
not in their interest to make waves…..(or) to
look at the bigger picture. It is not in their
interest to be passionate about things…..
They have to meet the milestones and they
tick the boxes and they present that to
ministers. If on the way, they have totally
misunderstood the context within which
they are working, tough! So if they see some
drafting which they think is clumsy, even
though it may be because of technical
language, they will take responsibility to
change it and sometimes that means it
changes the sense” - Teresa
“The real impetus for it was Sue Campbell, telling the secretaries of state (DfE and
DCMS) ‘we have got to do something about sport’” - Derek
“A very skilled policy entrepreneur.....she can persuade you to do anything and let
her loose on politicians and you see her working her magic” - Teresa
“Fantastic vision, fantastic determination, an unbelievable networker. Knows how to
make things happen. Very practical, cuts to the chase” - Vincent
“(A)great opportunity taker..... she is able to position things, sell things.....
incredibly persuasive” - George
“A very forceful character..... absolutely key.....she changed the culture” - Colin
“.....but you know sometimes there is enough kudos for everybody in this” - Derek
“Absolutely committed” - Colin
“(He) wanted it to be more than what Tony Blair wanted and
Tony wanted four hours, so we had five” - Derek
“What happened quite quickly was that the new prime minister wanted to
ramp this up.....He decided to go one beyond that and say five (hours).....
So in other words, like a good politician, there were Brownie points to be made
from just ratcheting this up a bit. ‘Seventy percent of the work had been done
and if I can put a bit more in, I can get a lot out’” - George
“We were surprised, because he was briefed and it was four (hours). So when he
said five, we said: ‘blimey that’s really good’” - Vincent
“Policy is by definition complex and changeable and political actors who
recognise its nature are likely to be more successful than those who
uphold rational procedures” (John, 1998, p. 27).
“I thought policy was a linear process, logical, well informed. Well it isn’t. It’s about whim, it’s about people’s ego and status and it’s about committee processes and making sure that we keep an eye on every single piece of the process..... That’s why I am so critical of so much policy analysis which only looks at text. Because textual analysis only tells you about what is produced. It does not tell you about the process and it does not tell you anything about the dynamics of the struggle. It doesn’t tell you about the horse trading. It doesn’t tell you about the things that you tried to get through and you couldn’t. And what you got through and which was even more difficult than anyone might imagine”.
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