Education Secretary Damian Hinds calls on leading sporting bodies to work with schools and help more children play competitive sport.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds has called on the country’s leading sporting organisations to work in partnership with the Government to improve school sport and ensure all children have the opportunity to take part in competitive sport and increase their activity levels.

At a summit of top sporting organisations including the Premier League, the Rugby Football Union and England Hockey, Mr Hinds and the Sports Minister Mims Davies asked the country’s biggest sporting institutions to advise the Government, ahead of the School Sport Action Plan next year, on how to help children to harness the benefits of sport. These include greater self-belief, working towards long-term goals and recovering from setbacks – alongside well-documented benefits to their physical and mental wellbeing.

The Education Secretary set out his ambition for every child to have the opportunity to take part in competitive sport, discussing with the summit’s attendees how to work with schools and other sports bodies to achieve this aim. The Sports Minister underlined this message, and set out the importance of fun and enjoyment in getting children active and developing a lifelong habit of participation.

The Government’s School Sport Action Plan will ensure that all children have access to quality, protected PE and sport sessions during the school week and opportunities to be physically active throughout the school day. It will set out an ambition for all pupils to have access to a wide range of sports and physical activities, with a focus on health, wellbeing and character. It will also promote a joined-up approach to physical activity, supporting schools through the local community and encouraging families to get active together.

The Action Plan will build on the recent publication of data from the Active Lives Children’s survey, which found that one-third (33%) of children and young people do less than 30 minutes of activity per day.

It also highlighted disparities in activity levels between boys and girls, as well as children of different socio-economic backgrounds and some BAME groups. A key aim for the plan will be to engage the least active groups, ensuring that all children have equal opportunities and encouragement to develop an active lifestyle.