Outdoor Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 29th March 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Grey-Thompson Baroness Grey-Thompson Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase (1) the number of opportunities for children to be active outdoors during the school day, and (2) the range of activities available to them when outdoors; and whether such plans include the introduction of active mile schemes.

Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Through the primary PE and sport premium, over £600 million of ring-fenced funding has been invested in primary schools to improve PE and sport since 2013. The government doubled the premium to £320 million per year from September 2017, using revenue from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy. The premium should be used to develop or add to the PE and sport activities that a school already offers to provide more opportunities for their pupils to be active throughout the school day.

We know that schools across the country have signed up to an active mile programme. The Daily Mile’s website reports that over 900 schools in England are signed up to The Daily Mile. Active Miles can help pupils to achieve the 60 active minutes each day recommended by the UK chief medical officers. They are simple, inclusive and can successfully engage the least active children in physical activity. In December 2017, the department brought together active mile providers to discuss opportunities to engage more schools to take part in active mile initiatives

Sport England supports children and young people in England by ensuring there is a good sports and activity offer before and after the school day. This includes investing £28 million into Satellite Clubs between 2017-2021. Satellite Clubs provide opportunities to take part regularly in sport and activity through the creation of enjoyable, appealing and convenient opportunities for young people that are based around their needs.

The government also continues to invest around £17.5 million per annum in the School Games, an Olympic/Paralympic style competition, so that all children and young people, particularly those who are currently least active or from under-represented groups, have the best opportunities to engage in sport and physical activity. Inclusive sports formats are included to provide opportunities for disabled pupils and those with special educational needs to participate.

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