The national curriculum for PE is designed to ensure that all pupils develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities, are physically active for sustained periods of time and lead healthy and active lives. The requirements do not differentiate in relation to gender.
Schools are free to organise and deliver a diverse and challenging PE curriculum that suits the needs of all of their pupils. In doing so, they must have regard to their duties under the Equality Act (2010). The government guidance on the Equality Act makes it clear that, while an exception in the act allows for the provision of single-sex sporting activities, the school would still have to allow girls equal opportunities to participate in comparable sporting activities.
Football is a popular sport in schools. Data from the Active Lives Children and Young People Survey 2017/18 reported that 31% of pupils – boys and girls - took part in football at least once a week at school.
Our cross-government school sport and activity action plan will consider ways to ensure that all children have access to quality, protected PE and sport sessions during the school week and opportunities to be physically active throughout the school day. It will be published in spring 2019.