Schools could be measured on how much priority is given to physical activity and wellbeing

Schools could soon be judged on how they prioritize sport, physical activity and well-being as part of the government’s plans to get children moving after the Covid-19 lockdown.

In another key boost to The Telegraph’s Keep Kids Active campaign, Sport Minister Nigel Huddleston confirmed positive discussions had been held with the Department of Education about explicit measurement of schools’ approach to physical activity, which Ofsted had officially endorsed.

With most children having been at school just over three months since last March, activity levels have fallen and sports leaders have called for a national plan to reduce the physical and mental health impairments.

Sport England and The Youth Sports Trust have both advocated measuring schools for sport, physical activity and well-being, and in responses to the all-party Parliamentary Group on Sport, Huddleston said it was actively considering it.

“[On] that it is important to ensure that we put sport and physical activity on the agenda and that this is properly measured by Ofsted and others, I have had constructive discussions with the Department for Education,” he said.

“We coordinate and try to move things forward together. We heard very positive vibes. They want to get sport and exercise going again as quickly as possible.

“Even in lockdown I’ve been impressed by how many schools are increasing it and putting physical activity on their agenda. The importance of sport and physical activity sometimes differs from school to school. It’s to some extent dictated by the head and other competing priorities, which are understandable.”

As part of our campaign The Telegraph has specifically called for physical education and activity to be put on an equal footing with core subjects when children return to school after a lockdown that has also halted all their broader sporting activities.

Huddleston pledged that sport and physical activity would be a priority as restrictions eased, and in another of our campaign goals, he emphasized the importance of using school sports facilities outside of class hours for the wider community. Schools could be measured on how much priority is given to physical activity and wellbeing

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