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Active Lives: Creating a Healthier, Happier Future

by Assessor

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Children playing sports

Are you interested in creating a healthier, happier future for children and young people? Do you want to understand how they choose to get active? If so, let us introduce you to the Active Lives Children and Young People Survey. This survey provides valuable data on how children aged 5-16 engage in sport and physical activity, offering insights that benefit schools, parents, policy makers, and local communities.

Understanding Children’s Activity Levels

Children walking to school

The Active Lives Survey helps us gain a unique understanding of the physical activity and well-being levels of children within your school. By participating in the survey, you can learn what motivates young people to be active and how resources can be invested to support children and tackle inequalities. Launched in 2017, the survey is completed by approximately 120,000 children and young people, along with 5,000 parents and 1,300 teachers from around 1,500 schools across England each year.

Building a Stronger Future

Sport England, together with the government, has developed this survey to build a stronger understanding of the attitudes and behaviors of children. Through this survey, we aim to reveal how sport and physical activity can contribute to whole-school improvement and improve children’s mental health and well-being. But we need your help to make it happen.

Easy and Enjoyable

Children participating in activities

We’ve designed the survey to be easy to access online and simple for schools to complete within the school day. Secondary schools also have the option to share the survey as homework. The survey is tailored to different age groups so that children find it enjoyable to complete, taking only around 20 minutes of their time. One class, in up to three different year groups, is asked to fill out the questionnaires, and one teacher from each school completes a 10-minute survey to provide broader context. Additionally, parents of Years 1 and 2 children are encouraged and incentivized to complete a short survey to help build a stronger picture of their child’s activity levels.

Who Can Participate?

Children participating in school activities

All schools, including independent schools, with pupils in years 1-11 can take part in this free survey. Even if your school has participated before, you can still join. Schools are randomly selected and invited to take part by Sport England and their local Active Partnership. However, non-selected schools can also opt-in because the data is valuable to them as well.

Support Every Step of the Way

Teachers discussing the survey

We understand that schools and teachers are incredibly busy. That’s why your local Active Partnership, funded by Sport England, is here to provide guidance and support. They can assist you with class selection and provide top tips and resources to help everyone complete the surveys.

The Benefits of Participating

Children playing on a playground

By participating in the Active Lives Survey, schools can enjoy several benefits. Sampled schools can receive credits to spend on a range of sport and well-being equipment. Parents can also earn additional credits by completing the parent survey for Year 1 and 2 pupils. As a participating school, you’ll receive a bespoke and confidential report that provides valuable insight on children’s activity levels, physical literacy, swimming proficiency, well-being, self-efficacy, and levels of social trust. You can use this report to inform your PE, school sport, and physical activity programs, as well as supporting evidence for Ofsted. Additionally, participating schools will receive a Department for Education Healthy Schools Rating (HSRS) and a certificate that can be proudly displayed.

READ:   The Top British Schools for Sports

Join the National Collective Effort

Children playing on swings

By taking part in the Active Lives Survey, you have the opportunity to be part of a national collective effort to help children and young people lead healthier, happier, and more active lives. Let’s work together to create a brighter future for our young generation.

To find out more and get involved, please contact your local Active Partnership.


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