Children: Obesity

Department for Education written question – answered on 21st February 2018.

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Photo of Tom Watson Tom Watson Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent steps his Department has taken to tackle obesity levels in children in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Through the primary physical education (PE) and sport premium, the government has invested over £600 million of ring-fenced funding to primary schools to improve PE and sport since 2013. The government has doubled the premium to £320 million a year from September 2017, using revenue from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy.

£100 million of revenue generated from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy will be used for the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund in 2018-19. This fund is intended to improve children’s and young people’s physical and mental health by enhancing access to facilities for physical activity, healthy eating, mental health and wellbeing and medical conditions. These facilities include kitchens, dining facilities, changing rooms, playgrounds and sports facilities.

We are investing a further £26 million in a breakfast club programme, over the next three years, using funds from Soft Drinks Industry Levy revenues. This money will kick-start or improve breakfast clubs in at least 1,500 schools, with a focus on increasing provision for disadvantaged pupils in Opportunity Areas. The programme will also deliver innovation projects, with the aim of testing solutions to delivery and access barriers, and enhancing the health and education benefits.

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