Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Ali Oliver has responded to a report published by ukactive on Tuesday 16 June which calls to test children's fitness, by highlighting the need for high quality teacher training.
Oliver stresses the importance that young people have a positive first experience of sport and physical activity, which supports not only their physical wellbeing, but also positively impacts their emotional and social skills.
Over the last 20 years, the Youth Sport Trust has worked closely with schools, sports and partners across the UK to provide support and deliver programmes which help all young people achieve their full potential.
Oliver said: "We believe that providing primary children with a solid foundation in physical activity is crucial to prepare them for later life, helping shape them into healthy, social and active young people. At the Youth Sport Trust, we strive to provide the very best sporting start through a right to physical literacy for every child.
"If we are to tackle inactivity levels amongst young people it is critical to recognise the pivotal role schools can play in ensuring every child has a positive first experience of PE and sport. For many young people this can be the only structured physical activity they will experience.
"Teachers must be highly trained and supported to deliver well structured lessons that are inclusive, engaging and can ultimately lay the foundations for lifelong participation. Our programmes seek to build the skills and confidence of teaching staff to help them deliver engaging PE and school sport.
"Government investment through the PE and Sport Premium has given a good platform for schools to have dedicated resources in this area. We strongly believe that schools should be investing this in their own teachers' development to generate long term benefits.
"Regular physical activity not only increases academic achievement, it boosts creativity, raises aspirations, builds resilience, and helps young people to be more empathetic towards others. Physical activity positively impacts social, emotional and physical wellbeing. That is why we believe it is an issue that should be a national priority."
To help primary schools to maximise their sport funding, the Youth Sport Trust has compiled a comprehensive guide on what schools should consider. To access the guide to primary school sport funding, click here.