School Sport and Activity Action Plan: A start but much work to do to dramatically shift the dial on childhood inactivity

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The Sport and Recreation Alliance welcomes the School Sport and Activity Action Plan which sets out a helpful cross-government ambition to make sure all children do at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

Alliance CEO, Lisa Wainwright said: “The plan is the start of an important journey, but much more work is needed to make sure it genuinely delivers a substantial shift in the activity levels of our children and young people.

We are pleased to see a public commitment by all three government departments to improve the quality and quantity of sport and physical activity for children and to make sure they get at least 60 minutes physical activity a day. 

However, we are disappointed not to see a commitment to ensure schools set aside protected time to achieve this.

At least 30 minutes of activity should be taking place in our schools each day, with funding and initiatives to support the sector in making this reach the 60 minute-mark which we know is the recommended level of activity to keep our children happy and healthy.

We support the Sports Minister when she says we must ‘shift the dial’ and if the plan is genuinely going to do this, it must also be backed by substantial, long-term funding in the Spending Review. This will be the acid test of government’s commitment.

We stand ready to work with government and our members to develop and take forward the delivery of this plan over the summer.

We are pleased to see a level of funding for schools to open-up their facilities outside of school hours and in the holidays, and our members will play a key role in making this happen. However, this funding must be extended in the long-term to make a much larger number of school facilities available.

Our recent interactive map shows the scale of the challenge we face in terms of childhood inactivity. Now is the time for government, with the support of the sector, to deliver.”

The Alliance will be taking a deeper look into the various ambitions set out in the School Sport and Activity Action Plan and how the sector can support this in the coming weeks.

You can read the full School Sport and Activity Action Plan here.