The Government’s new School Sport and Activity Action Plan Open in a new window has been hailed as a great step forward by our chief executive Tim Hollingsworth.
With the Active Lives Survey showing that a third of children are currently doing fewer than 30 minutes of physical activity a day, the Government has developed a plan to give children greater opportunity to access 60 minutes of daily sport and physical activity.
The new plan sets out a range of new measures to strengthen the role of physical activity within a young person’s daily routine, to explain how teachers and parents can play their part, and to promote a joined-up approach to physical activity and mental wellbeing.
Sport England will invest an additional £2 million to create 400 new after-school ‘satellite clubs’ to get more young people from disadvantaged areas active, as well as additional funding to better coordinate sport programmes and competitions for young people.
“This year we conducted the biggest piece of research ever into children’s activity and found that physically literate children are happier, more resilient and trusting of other youngsters,” said Tim.
“We also found that enjoyment is the biggest single factor that motivates children to be active above competence or knowing it’s good for them.
“We are delighted to be working at the heart of the new School Sport and Activity Action Plan to embed those learnings, as well as making it easier for schools to offer more activities during the school day and after lessons, not least through creating another 400 new Satellite Clubs and a This Girl Can workout resource for teenage girls.
“Every child has the right to be active and find an activity they love. And the School Sport and Activity Action Plan is a great step forward.”
As part of our 2016-21 strategy Towards an Active Nation, we’re already investing £194m in children and young people.
However, with our world-leading Active Lives Children and Young People Survey showing that more than 80% of children are not meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines of more than 60 minutes of activity a day, every day, there’s still work to do.
“As a parent I want my children to be happy and healthy. As Education Secretary, I want young people to leave school prepared for adult life,” said Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds.
“Sport can help with both – it not only keeps pupils fit and healthy but helps them grow in confidence and learn vital skills, such as teamwork and recovering from life’s inevitable setbacks.
“My ambition is for every pupil to have the chance to find a sport they love, setting them up to lead healthy, active lives and equipping them with the skills to reach their full potential, both inside and outside the classroom.”
The plan urges schools to recognise how physical literacy and high-quality, modern PE lessons can benefit other aspects of school life and improve pupils’ behaviour, wellbeing and attainment.
And it outlines how we and the Government will work with a range of sporting bodies, including the Football Association, the Premier League and the England and Wales Cricket Board, to ensure clubs and programmes can reach even more children.
“Sport has such an incredible power to have a hugely positive impact on children’s lives,” said Minister for Sport and Civil Society Mims Davies.
“It increases their physical and mental wellbeing, helps them achieve at school and teaches important life skills such as working as a team, developing the confidence to try new things and taking leadership.
“I urge schools to put sport and physical activity at the heart of every school day, creating a cultural shift where it becomes routine in the daily lives of young people.
“Our plan will help shift the dial in school sport – making lessons more fun and engaging and vitally increasing the number of out of school clubs so that more young people get and stay active.”
With Seema Kennedy, Public Health Minister, adding: “Making exercise both fun and accessible to all children is a key part of healthy development.
“Obesity is on the rise, and schools have a vital role in achieving our ambition to halve childhood obesity by 2030.
“The sugar tax is already funding school sports across the country and we are encouraging all primary schools to get their pupils active for a mile a day as part of our world-leading childhood obesity plan.
“This pledge is a vital step in making sure that our children grow up healthy, active and happy.
“The School Sport and Activity Action Plan will build on these successes, increasing access to sport and activity for every child so they can reap all the health benefits this brings.”
For more information on the plan, click here Open in a new window.