Statement from Katherine Knight, chair of Rounders England, on the decision by Department for Education against including Rounders within the list of activities eligible for assessment at GCSE and A Level.
We believe Rounders is a suitable sport to include on list of activities eligible for assessment at GCSE / A Level and will review our next steps regarding the decision made by the Department of Education today. We celebrate the work being delivered by teachers across the country to help children get active through Rounders and will continue to support them as we work to get selected onto the PE GCSE curriculum.
We worked on the submission with school and national partners and believed that Rounders met the criteria including a robust assessment process. We are advocates for the widest offer of sports available to young people and believe there should be more than one striking and fielding activity on the syllabus.
We believe that this makes Rounders an important part of the sporting landscape especially with girls and women. The Active Lives Children and Young People Survey 2017/18 shows Rounders as a popular activity with young people with an overall population of 498,500.
Rounders is an inclusive, cross-generational game which embraces all abilities and is a sport for all. Its impacts go beyond the school field, with Rounders leagues around the country offering a credible and accessible relationship with sport, increasing wellbeing and fitness.
Following the announcement of the 2018 DfE consultation, we submitted a comprehensive response in December 2018 which consulted with a wide range of national partners, delivery bodies of Rounders and the public in order to be able to offer as full a response as possible. Consultees include Sport England, the Youth Sport Trust, Association for Physical Education, Sport & Recreation Alliance, Women in Sport, exam boards, PE practitioners and universities. As part of this, The Youth Sport Trust commented:
“Rounders England have responded to their exclusion from the 2015 list by working with schools, seeking specific advice and liaising with exam boards to develop a robust assessment method which we believe should now be considered for reinstating following this consultation as an alternative striking and fielding activity. Not only is there only one sport available in this category at present but it is traditionally highly gendered, and Rounders is widely played in schools.”
At its heart, sport should be accessible, competitive and, indeed, fun. Our research tells us that Rounders achieves these markers. With our new Chief Executive starting shortly we will take this matter up with the Department for Education and review our short, medium and long term strategy to ensure we have a strong plan to develop Rounders in schools, colleges and universities as well as workplaces and as a recreational sport.