Youth Sport Trust welcomes House of Lords call for national focus on physical literacy

The Youth Sport Trust has welcomed a report issued by a House of Lords committee today (Friday) which calls for a long-term, cross-government national plan for sport, health and wellbeing.

Recommendations from the House of Lords National Plan for Sport & Recreation Committee include:

  • The improvement of physical literacy should be a key principle at the heart of a national plan for sport and recreation.
  • The Department for Education should designate PE as a core subject across all key stages, with the physical literacy of children valued as highly as their literacy and numeracy.
  • Funding for the primary PE and Sport Premium should be maintained at current levels and guaranteed for the long-term by the Department for Education.
  • Government should launch a campaign to encourage and inspire parents to be active with their children outside of school.
  • More should be done to improve teachers’ knowledge and confidence delivering PE, unlock the potential for physical activity to be embedded in the school day and build on progress opening up school sport facilities for local communities.

Responding to the report, Youth Sport Trust CEO Ali Oliver MBE said:

“We wholeheartedly agree with the call being made by the House of Lords committee for an ambitious, long-term, joined-up national strategy for sport, health and wellbeing.

“Sport and play have a fundamental role to play at the heart of young people’s education and development. But with Sport England research showing that 4 million young people are doing less than the 60 daily minutes of activity recommended by the Chief Medical Officer, there is a desperate need for new policy thinking.

“The Youth Sport Trust, along with our partners across sport and education, has long been calling for physical literacy to be valued on a par with literacy and numeracy, and for Physical Education to be a core subject for all key stages given its significant impact on wider educational outcomes. The Lords committee is absolutely right to call for this, and we look forward to seeing how this is taken forward by the Department for Education.

“As a children’s charity determined to improve young people’s lives through play and sport, we have been concerned that in the face of a global physical and mental health crisis, getting children active is still not being treated as a core priority of our national recovery.

“In line with the recommendations of this report, a concerted national effort is now needed to get young people active, from families and schools through to sports organisations and government.

“We hope that the promised imminent publication of government’s new School Sport and Activity Action Plan, along with a long-term funding commitment for PE and school sport, will address the issues raised in this valuable report.”

Published on 10 December 2021