• Moving primary physical education forward: start at the beginning

      Jess, Mike; McEvilly, Nollaig; Carse, Nicola; The University of Edinburgh; University of Chester; The University of Edinburgh (Taylor & Francis, 2016-03-07)
      This paper presents selected findings from a questionnaire completed by 509 primary school teachers in Scotland. Drawing on policy enactment theory, the paper focusses on teachers’ personal experiences of physical education and perceptions of the importance of physical education in their schools. More than half (56%) reported that physical education was either ‘very important’ or ‘important’, while almost 40% perceived it to be of ‘limited’ or ‘very limited importance’. ‘Staff’, ‘time’ and ‘subject status’ were the main themes they drew on to explain their responses. Our findings highlight the diverse nature of the physical education professional cultures in Scottish primary schools. From this, we propose that future initiatives to support change in primary physical education should, as a starting point, acknowledge these diverse professional cultures and move beyond the simplistic one-size-fits-all change projects that have been shown to have limited impact on practice.