Campaigning for every child's future

YST Campaigning for every child’s future
At a time when young people are leading increasingly sedentary lifestyles and hours of Physical Education are being squeezed, it has never been more important to champion the importance of sport and play.

In 2017/18 we advocated on behalf of our schools and teachers by raising awareness of cuts to PE and campaigning for a more joined-up approach to PE and school sport from government. We continued to support school-to-school improvement, sharing success stories from schools, teachers and sector leaders and championed the power of PE and school sport to improve young people’s lives.

We created national headlines, advocated in Parliament, responded to government consultations and continued to work closely with government to maximise the impact of the primary PE and Sport Premium.

Reach of YST communications in 2017/18...

  • 72,110 people followed us on social media across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn
  • 9.2 million - the number of times our social media posts were seen, receiving more than 176,000 likes, shares and engagements
  • 3,051 - the number of times YST and our programmes were mentioned in the media. This included 170 items of coverage in national and broadcast news outlets
  • 192,830 people visited our website

We've also been...

  • Raising awareness of PE cuts

In early 2018 we carried out and published new research warning that almost two-in-five (38%) secondary schools had cut timetabled Physical Education for 14-to-16-year olds since 2012. Working with our network of PE CatalYSTs, the research drew responses from almost 600 PE teachers. It showed the amount of PE on the timetable decreasing as young people progress through school.

National media coverage on the week of release reached an estimated audience of 11 million. BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast made PE the subject of their phone-in and the Daily Telegraph, Guardian and TES all ran the findings which continued to be referenced in media coverage throughout the year.

We reached an audience of over 560,000 on social media with the likes of Duncan Goodhew, Sharron Davies and Joe Wicks sharing the findings and commenting on the need to give greater recognition to the importance of PE.

  • Championing the power of sport

5,551 schools enrolled in our 10th annual National School Sport Week in summer 2018, celebrating the role of play and sport in education. We secured the support of partners including Entertainment One’s PJ Masks, the BBC and Premier League and the FA who between them provided resources for schools, nurseries and early years settings and supported our efforts to raise awareness of the wider benefits of play and sport in schools.

The National School Sport Week hashtag #nssw was seen 22 million times on Twitter. Schools, media outlets, government departments and ministers were among those sharing our calls for young people and schools to take part.

In February 2018, we brought Professor John Ratey – a leading Harvard Medical School academic – to our annual conference to share his pioneering research on how physical activity boosts brain power and helps reduce stress, anxiety and maintain creativity.

  • Maximising the PE and Sport Premium

We highlighted examples of how primary schools were spending their PE and Sport Premium to achieve lasting impact, promoting these success stories in high profile national media work.

We continued to work with the Department for Education, Association for PE and other national partners to produce guidance for schools around the Premium to ensure it delivers a long-term sustainable impact.

We provided evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood’s inquiry on the Premium, making the case for effective accountability to ensure the funding has a long-term impact.

  • Advocating for a joined-up approach to wellbeing

In summer 2018 we launched Believing in Every Child’s Future in the House of Commons, bringing government ministers, MPs and peers together with our youth board, head teachers and young beneficiaries of our programmes.

10 MPs signed up to become YST School Sport Champions in 2017/18, committing to using their voice to champion the importance of PE and school sport.

We responded to four government consultations making the case for the role of sport and play in tackling obesity, improving mental health, tackling loneliness and building community cohesion.

Former Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan MP, said: "I am proud to be the Member of Parliament for the Youth Sport Trust. Its new strategy sets out a bold and exciting vision for using the power of sport and play to tackle some of the big challenges facing children today."