Physical Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 5th June 2020.

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Photo of Lord Addington Lord Addington Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans are in place to provide structured physical education for any children returning to school before the 2020 summer break.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

We want to get all children and young people back into education as soon as possible because it is the best place for them to learn, and because we know how important it is for their mental wellbeing to have social interactions with their peers, carers and teachers.

We are working to ensure that schools are fully supported when they open more widely. Schools are free to organise and deliver a PE curriculum that suits the needs of all their pupils whilst following COVID-19 government guidelines. Our latest guidance for schools can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

We want every child to be able to do the 60 minutes a day of physical activity recommended by the UK Chief Medical Officers. This is important for their physical and mental wellbeing and will be especially important for children who have had restricted opportunity to exercise while at home. The government is working closely with nurseries, schools, physical activity experts and sport providers to ensure that there is advice and resources to support everyone to participate in regular exercise. We are advising schools to use outside space for exercise where possible and encourage activities such as supervised non-touch running games.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, working alongside Sport England, launched a £195 million package to help the sport and physical activity sector through the COVID-19 outbreak, with more recent guidance published on the phased return of grassroots sport and recreation:

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

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