In primary school, the difficult implementation of 30 minutes of daily sport

Tested since September 2020 in some 7,000 schools, the « 30 minutes of daily physical activity » (30′ APQ) system was generalized at the start of the 2022 school year for the 49,000 primary schools in France. After being announced in the back-to-school circular, the conditions for implementing this measure were detailed in a note published in the official bulletin at the end of July.

As part of the Generation 2024 program, with a view to the next Olympic Games, « this project is distinct from and complementary to the three weekly hours of PE, a compulsory teaching discipline », specifies the text.

It is about physical activity and not about sport, underlines the ministry. This measure aims in particular to fight against the sedentary lifestyle and obesity of children and adolescents.

No logistical mobilization

The memorandum leaves a very, even too much, room for maneuver in the implementation of the device. Three main axes are evoked: “These 30 minutes of APQ are set up on days when the pupils do not benefit from teaching time in EPS”, specifies one of them.

In addition, « a sports outfit is not necessary » and « the schoolyard, school premises and the surroundings of the establishment will be used as a priority ». “These 30 minutes represent too tight a space to consider trips from school to sports premises,” underlined Minister Pap Ndiaye during his back-to-school press conference on August 26. “You have to imagine that these 30 minutes can happen within the establishment itself without logistical mobilization. »

The forms that can take these 30 minutes of physical activity are adapted to the context of each school: they can be split up and combined during school time or during recess. “Depending on the contexts, territorial educational projects, extracurricular time can be invested if necessary. The implementation is then coordinated in order to guarantee consistency with school time, ”says the note.

A dedicated referent at the academic level

A dedicated referent is appointed to each academic director of the national education services (DASEN) to monitor and support the establishments. “Depending on the needs expressed by the educational teams, joint training actions may be offered with the departmental services for youth, commitment and sports (SDJES). »

The deployment of this measure can be based on the agreements signed between the National Education and the Ministry of Sports, the Sports Union for Primary Education (Usep) and various sports federations.

“The signatories work to co-construct appropriate educational content, to support educational teams in the implementation of educational content with equipment and/or a training offer in or out of school time and to mobilize their club networks. »

Extracurricular as a solution?

Primary education unions are at least circumspect about this measure. “Three weeks after the start of the school year, we have little feedback on its implementation, points out Audrey Lalanne of SE-Unsa. It must be said that teachers do not necessarily have the time to devote to it. “She regrets the lack of consultation on this measure:” If its objectives are laudable, the ministry lacked anticipation. However, the educational community needs time to take ownership of this project. »

The trade unionist also points to the lack of equipment. While the 7,000 volunteer schools at the start of the 2020 school year had obtained dedicated kits, this aid was not put in place for the start of the school year. « We will have to invest, but this may require additional financial efforts for the municipalities… »

For her part, Guislaine David of SNUipp-FSU regrets « an injunction that comes from above » and points out the absence of timetables dedicated to this project. “How do we fit these 30 minutes into our already very busy 6-hour days?” she wonders.

On the consideration of recreation, the union representative is categorical: it is not. “Recess time is a break without constraints to let the child breathe”. Especially since teachers are already having difficulty setting up the 3 hours of weekly sports: according to a survey by SNUipp-FSU, published last March, 2h17 are devoted to physical education at school.

The solution could come from the extracurricular framework, recognize the two trade unionists. But this implies clarifying the links with local authorities, in particular for access to sports facilities.

“Time for consultation would be necessary between schools and communities to identify the needs of each establishment. And everyone’s responsibility should also be framed, ”says Guislaine David.

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