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Government's School Activity Action Plan to increase exercise opportunities for children

By Tom Walker    15 Jul 2019
The plan looks to focus on ensuring boys and girls have an equal and coordinated offer of sport

UK children will be offered a greater opportunity to take part in 60 minutes of daily sport and physical activity under new government plans.

The School Sport and Activity Action Plan, outlined by education secretary Damian Hinds and sport minister Mims Davies, will set out a range of new measures to strengthen the role of sport within a young person’s daily routine.

It will also promote a joined-up approach to physical activity and mental wellbeing.

Under the plan, schools and sports clubs will be encouraged to work together to share their facilities and expertise, giving more pupils access to competitive sport and volunteering opportunities.

There will be a focus on ensuring boys and girls have an equal and coordinated offer of sport, competition and activity, including modern PE lessons and access to high-quality clubs and competitions after school and during weekends and holidays.

As part of the plan, the government will launch a series of regional pilots to trial "innovative approaches" to getting more young people active, particularly less active groups such as girls and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The pilots will be joint-funded by the DCMS through Sport England and are expected to run from September 2020. More detail on the specific actions will be published later this year.

The plan was published after Sport England's latest Active Lives Survey showed that a third of children are currently doing fewer than 30 minutes of physical activity a day.

“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," said Mims Davies.

"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."

The DCMS will also invest £2.5m in 2019-20 to deliver extra training for PE teachers, help schools open up their facilities at weekends and during the holidays, and expand sports volunteering programmes to give more young people the opportunity to become sports leaders and coaches.

Sport England will invest an additional £2m to create 400 new after-school ‘satellite clubs’ to get more young people in disadvantaged areas active, as well as additional funding to better coordinate sport programmes and competitions for young people.

The plan will build on the £1bn that the government has invested since 2013 to improve sport in primary schools through the PE and Sport Premium. Sport England is also investing £194m in children and young people between 2016 and 2021.

School Sport and Activity Action Plan  Mims Davies  Sport England 
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