Children: Obesity

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

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Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson Conservative, North Swindon

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to Childhood obesity: a plan for action, published in January 2017, what progress his Department has made on the physical activity recommendations in that plan on (a) children receiving 60 minutes a day of vigorous exercise and (b) the new healthy rating scheme for primary schools.

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

Every primary school child should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day. The Childhood Obesity Plan set out that at least 30 minutes should be delivered in school every day through active break times, PE, extra-curricular clubs, active lessons, or other sport and physical activity events, with the remaining 30 minutes supported by parents and carers outside of school time. The department does not collect data from schools on physical activity levels of children, but is supporting them in the following ways.

In September 2017 we doubled the primary PE and sport premium to £320 million using revenue from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy. Schools must use the funding to make additional and sustainable improvements to the quality of PE and sport they offer. The premium should be used to develop or add to the PE and sport activities that a school already offers and make improvements now that will benefit pupils joining the school in future years.

In 2018 £100 million of revenue generated from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy is being used for the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund (HPCF). In March we published HPCF allocations and guidance for local authorities and larger multi-academy trusts, which total £62 million.

£38 million of the HPCF has been awarded to projects in primary and secondary academies and sixth form colleges across the country. The funding will be used to improve facilities which include sports halls and multi-use games areas, changing rooms, swimming pools and outdoor active play spaces.

We are currently working on testing delivery models as we continue to explore the most effective way to deliver the healthy schools rating scheme, building on successful resources that are already available to schools. We will come forward with proposals shortly.

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