The School Sport and Activity Plan

Our last blog post Keeping Kids Active - How much should they be doing? raised concerns about children not getting the recommended daily amount of exercise during the school term and the school holidays. Could it be that after the recent data from Sport England’s Active Lives Children and Young People survey the UK government has decided to take action?

Indeed they have. On 14th July 2019 the UK government published a press release outlining their School Sport and Activity Plan to enable children and young people to take part in one hour of physical exercise every single day, 30 minutes in school and 30 minutes outside of school. This action plan, outlined in the School Sport Activity Action Plan, is a statement of intent with several government departments, namely the Department for Education (DfE), the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and the Department for Health and Social Care shouldering the responsibility to deliver results through funding and collaboration.

Our ‘Keeping Kids Active’ blog post also raised worrying concerns that about 66% of adults, which includes teachers, do not know what the recommended level of exercise is for children. Therefore, parents and teachers need to be educated to understand how much physical activity children should be doing every day. Educating teachers and parental support is an important factor if this government plan is going to work. Consequently, the government will be raising “awareness of the importance of physical activity for children and young people”, and making “messages such as ‘at least 60 minutes a day’ as recognisable as ‘5 a day’”.

The main message that emerged from the 130,000 children and young people who took part in the Active Lives Children and Young People survey was that sport and physical activity should be fun and enjoyable. There is strong evidence that, if children, and especially girls, do not enjoy the activities that are available during school PE lessons, they are more likely to opt out if given the opportunity and are then less likely to become physically active adults.

The survey’s findings have helped the collaborating departments acknowledge the barriers that girls and other less active groups face, and to understand the importance of including their views as they develop subsequent sport and physical activity policies. For example, in our This Girl Can blog post, we mentioned the successful National Lottery funded ‘This Girl Can’ campaign and how it is encouraging women to get physically active. In fact, over 3.9 million women and girls have been inspired to get active in response to this campaign. Further to this, as part of the governments ‘School Sport and Activity Action Plan’, Sport England will provide £1 million to develop a “Netflix-style library of workout videos” that can be accessed during school PE lessons.

Since 2013, the government has funded £1 million through the ‘PE and Sport Premium’ initiative that aims to expand physical and sporting activities for children in Primary schools. This type of funding has helped schools give pupils more choice in the the activities available. For example, when the pupils at Bolton on Swale Primary School, North Yorkshire were asked to list activities they would like to try they opted for table tennis, volleyball, canoeing and climbing - great news for our tahdah clients!! The government’s plan is to continue with this type of funding with a further £194 million being invested up to 2021.

Giving children a choice of the activities that they do, such as the Netflix-style workout videos, is key to ensuring that more children will reach the “at least 60 minutes a day” goal. Seeing the kids themselves request the sports and recreational activities of our tahdah clients is excellent to note.

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tahdah provides Sports and Recreational Activities awarding bodies and membership organisations with a single platform for all within their sport to manage memberships, courses, workshops, individual activities as well as coaching qualifications etc. It is predicated on the safeguarding of all involved via a verification process that ensures every user on tahdah is competent, current and compliant.

While the government recognition of, and investment in, “at least 60 minutes a day” is welcome, knowing that your kids will be safe when enjoying their new activities can only help support that participation.

To discuss how tahdah can support your sport/recreational activity, please contact us here.