A manifesto in synergy with Achievement for All

by Professor Sonia Blandford, CEO of the national charity Achievement for All 3As

A manifesto that raises aspirations, increases access and raises achievement – one that is in synergy with Achievement for All - the Youth Sport Trust has defined a way forward for the next government that will prepare the way for a healthy, active, achievement focused generation that reaches all children.

Children are 27% of our population, 100% of our future, without a clear steer from government to guide early year’s settings, schools, colleges, clubs and communities the next generation will be physically illiterate, unhealthy and lack the drive and ambition to participate in any competitive sport.

In 2012-2013, Achievement for All and the Youth Sport Trust co-delivered a pupil and parent engagement programme in the North East, South Yorkshire and Gloucestershire, the impact was profound. Vulnerable and disadvantaged adults and children who had long since given up on sport were trained by volunteer coaches in basketball and golf. The impact on both the parent’s and children’s self-esteem and concentration was evident in the sporting activity, the impact on the children’s progress in reading, writing and maths was evident in the classroom.

Building on inclusion, Achievement for All has significant evidence of the importance of engaging in wider activities, we recognise the importance of all teachers, and particularly PE teachers being held responsible for the engagement of all children in sport. We share the Youth Sport Trusts core asks and their ambitious aims for children and young people, and the emphasis on quality teacher training and professional development.

The four elements of the Achievement for All programme resonate with the focus and approach of the Youth Sport Trust’s 10 reasons for Number 10, and highlight the importance of sport as an inclusive activity supporting positive development of mental and physical health.

Our organisations are both seeking to develop pupils’ engagement, participation, enjoyment, well-being, self-esteem and confidence. Physical education and sport play a key role in this. We are very pleased that the Youth Sport Trust will be providing one of the first six partner modules from Summer 2015.

We are drawing all our resources together to add capacity for schools to address this vital agenda of closing the gap for disadvantaged children.  Achievement for All invites you to support the Youth Sport Trust’s manifesto and to engage with us in our shared programme – www.afa3as.uk