30 primary and secondary schools are randomly selected in Cumbria every term to take part in the Active Lives Survey for Children and Young People. One class from three pre-determined school years complete an online survey as do parents of year 1 or 2 children plus one teacher on behalf of the school. This is currently the largest survey of school children in Europe since it started in September 2017, County and district level information will be available from January 2019.
Every school completing 30 reponses to the attitudinal and behavioural questions in the survey will receive a school level report the term following completion; there is also a financial incentive to take part. The survey is managed by the Sport England funded County Sport Partnerships, here this is Active Cumbria, the main contact is Becky Underwood (firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 07717 586430). The following are statements from the three Government departments which commissioned the survey.
“Active Lives: Children and Young People is a Government study being run by Sport England and was developed with the Department for Education, the Department of Health and Social Care, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.”
“Active Lives: Children and Young People will provide official Government Statistics on children and young people’s engagement with sport and physical activity. It is a survey of children and young people administered through schools, but is not a survey of school sport.”
“The study will provide Sport England, Government and other partners with a broad and deep understanding of participation in, and attitudes towards, sport and physical activity, shaping future policy and investment.”
“Schools taking part will be able to learn more about their pupil’s engagement in sport and physical activity. Enabling them to compare against national data and further understand the needs and interests of their pupils.”
“Your school's participation is important in helping us to understand how children engage with sport and physical activity, and the data we gather will play a key role in informing future policy and funding decisions. We are committed to ensuring that all children and young people, particularly those who are currently the least active or from under-represented groups, have the best opportunities to engage in sport and physical activity. Sport and physical activity have a unique power to bind people together, to help transform people’s lives and to strengthen communities. A positive experience of sport and physical activity at a young age can help encourage a lifetime of participation.”
“We want to encourage all pupils, regardless of their background, to develop healthy and active lifestyles. The Active Lives: Children and Young People survey offers a fantastic opportunity for schools to better understand how their pupils enjoy sport or physical activity. Teachers and school leaders will also be able to see how their provision benefits young people and develop it further so more pupils have the opportunity to be physically active and enjoy sport.”
“Regular physical activity is associated with a number of benefits that are crucial for a child’s development in their formative years, including improved physical and mental wellbeing and even academic achievement. We want all children to have the opportunity to realise these benefits but we know that the majority do not reach the recommended levels of activity.
The Chief Medical Officer recommends all school-aged children get at least 60 minutes of regular physical activity per day but we know roughly only 1 in 5 achieve this. Schools have an important role to play and should aim to ensure all children are getting at least 30 minutes of the overall recommendation during the school day. This survey is an important tool to help us understand more how children are engaging in sport and physical activity so we can support schools, parents, and those with caring responsibilities.”