Sports: Schools

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 20th December 2018.

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Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Labour, Stockton North

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the role that physical education and school sport can play in promoting mental wellbeing amongst children and young people.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Physical education and school sport is vital in promoting mental wellbeing amongst children and young people. The recent publication of data from the Active Lives: Children and Young People survey confirms that active children are happier: the most active children report a mean happiness score of 7.5 (out of 10), compared to 6.8 for those who are less active. Benefits include building confidence, managing anxiety and depression, and increasing self-esteem, cognitive skills and improving learning and attainment.

In December last year the Department of Health and Social Care and Department for Education published Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision: a green paper, which highlighted how important physical activity is for good mental health and wellbeing. Furthermore, the cross-government sport strategy, Sporting Future, sets mental wellbeing as one of its five key outcomes.

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