Schools: Sports

Department for Education written question – answered on 2nd March 2018.

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Photo of Leo Docherty Leo Docherty Conservative, Aldershot

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of whether there is a link between participation in sport and mental health wellbeing among school pupils; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The Department works closely with the Department of Health and Social Care on the mental health of children.

There is a range of more general evidence on the benefits of participation in sport and physical activity. The Chief Medical Officer’s annual report in 2012 highlighted that regular participation in physical activity offers children health and social benefits, impacting on physiological health as well as social wellbeing.

‘How healthy behaviour supports children’s wellbeing’, a report published by Public Health England (PHE) in 2013 summarised evidence in this area: https://www.gov.uk/

government/publications/how-healthy-behaviour-supports-childrens-wellbeing.

PHE also published guidance in 2015, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/

publications/what-works-in-schools-to-increase-physical-activity-briefing.

PE remains compulsory at all four key stages in the national curriculum. Through the primary PE and sport premium, the Government has provided over £600 million to primary schools to be spent on the improvement of PE and sport. The Government doubled funding for the premium to £320 million a year from September 2017.

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