A poll conducted in Britain in 2011 shows that the vast majority of citizens (85%) agree that child obesity is a serious problem. However, only 34% believe that mandatory testing of physical literacy should be introduced into schools alongside traditional numeracy and literacy tests.
Dr. Andy Franklyn-Miller, a sports medicine and exercise medicine expert, explains in a BBC online column why physical literacy testing is just as necessary as numeracy and literacy testing.
“If our children are struggling in maths or English, we are aware because of poor performance in tests, and the child gets appropriate help.
“But what about physical development, cardiovascular fitness or coordination?
“Where are the assessments of ‘physical literacy’ alongside numeracy and literacy?”
He argues that school is the place to help children to develop physical literacy skills for their long-term health and well being. Through physical literacy testing, children who lack essential physical literacy skills can get the assistance they need while they are still in the school system.
He also makes it clear that teachers and parents deserve to have training and support in delivering a physical education curriculum that develops physical literacy. The purpose is not to build superstar athletes, but to build active and healthy lifestyles.