Alliance responds to revised School Sport and Activity Action Plan

School sport and activity action plan ()

Government has today published a new two-year School Sport and Activity Action Plan which sets out a number of commitments and associated funding and accountability measures to improve the provision of PE and sport in schools.

The action plan, which is by underpinned by £600m Primary PE and Sport Premium funding over the next two academic years, sets out how Government intends to support senior leaders and teachers to provide high quality PE for at least two hours a week and deliver a wide range of extra-curricular sport and competitive opportunities to both boys and girls.

Also included in the plan is £57 million to support access to facilities outside of school hours – with a focus on increasing activity opportunities for girls, disadvantaged pupils and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Responding to the revised plan, Lisa Wainwright, Sport and Recreation Alliance CEO said: “Today’s School Sport and Activity Action Plan is a welcome reaffirmation of the central importance of PE and school sport, both as part of a broad, high-quality education and as a means of improving the health, wellbeing and educational attainment of our children and young people.

“We welcome the committed funding set out in the plan which provides the certainty schools and partner organisations need to design and deliver a diverse, inclusive and engaging offer across the school day and out of hours.

“We have consistently called for funding for key pillars of the PE and school sport system to be put on a firmer footing and the two-year settlement for the PE and Sport Premium and School Games Organiser network is therefore a positive step.

“Similarly, the expectation of at least two hours of curriculum PE a week alongside equal access for both girls and boys provides consistency and clarity as to what schools should deliver and, crucially, help to address inequalities around participation in sport and recreation.

“However, much remains to be done – currently over half of children and young people do not meet the Chief Medical Officers’ recommendation of 60 minutes or more physical activity a day and almost a third do less than 30 minutes a day.

“These low levels of activity have significant knock-on consequences for children’s health, wellbeing and attainment.

“This revised plan must therefore be seen in this context – as the starting point of a journey to ensuring all children and young people enjoy the full benefits of PE and school sport.

“PE and school sport is vital to building a habit for sport and recreation from a young age. But it needs to form part of a wider and more ambitious approach – underpinned by long-term investment and policy reform – which unites school and community grassroots provision together to sustain these habits both within the school gates and across pitches, pools, courts and halls up and down the country.

“We remain committed to working with members, sector partners and Government to help deliver the Plan and – in time – the Government’s new sport strategy. We will also continue to advocate for broader policy reforms which maximise the potential of PE and school sport to support better outcomes for children and young people.”

The full School Sport and Activity Action Plan can be found here.