Pupils: Exercise

Department for Education written question – answered on 1st August 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Sater Baroness Sater Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of increasing the amount of physical exercise delivered by schools each day from 30 to 60 minutes.

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

The UK Chief Medical Officers’ published guidelines in 2011 which recommended that children and young people aged 5-18 should do a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity per day.

It is up to schools to decide what opportunities to offer to pupils to be active, including through a diverse and challenging physical exercise (PE) curriculum that suits the needs of all their pupils. Under the Childhood Obesity Plan the government set an expectation 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.

The government restated this expectation in the School Sport and Activity Action Plan published earlier this month. A link to the Plan is attached here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-sport-and-activity-action-plan.

Through the action set out in the plan, the government will support schools to offer high quality PE and activity opportunities and take steps to increase the opportunities outside of school. As part of the plan, the government has committed to raising awareness of the appropriate levels of physical activity for children and young people, to align with updated Chief Medical Officers’ guidance on physical activity which is due in September 2019.

The department will shortly be issuing procurement guidelines on the purchase and installation of multi-use games areas (MUGAs) for schools. MUGAs provide an excellent opportunity to enhance sports facilities for all schools, particularly those with limited outside space. They can be used all year round, increasing the ability of schools to help ensure as much sporting provision as possible.

HL17541_action_plan (PDF Document, 358.99 KB)

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