Charity calls on government to invest in PE to tackle mental health

Chief Executive of YST comments on Education and Health and Social Care Committees response to Government Green Paper on children's mental health

Ali Oliver, Chief Executive Officer at the Youth Sport Trust, said:

We agree with the committee’s response to the Government’s Green Paper on mental health but it is disappointing to see little reference to the link between physical activity and the positive effect play and sport can have on young people’s mental wellbeing. As a children’s charity, we have long been championing the vital role that a refocussed physical education curriculum has in giving young people the skills they need not only for work, but for life.

As we’ve highlighted in previous research we have conducted and through our new strategy, the curriculum is narrowing and there is a real need for a broad and balanced curriculum, particularly in secondary schools, to stop the drivers of declining mental health and the pressures young people currently face with rising exam stress and the impact of social media on personal relationships. We need further action and to prevent mental health issues from ever arising rather than simply intervening when the damage has been done. The transformative impact of being active and playing sport must be taken seriously to do this.

It holds so many of the answers to a healthier, happier generation - belonging, resilience, self-esteem as well as the positive impact physical activity can have on mood.

We are piloting a number of partnership programmes across the country where a new physical education offer, alongside a whole school approach to wellbeing is generating promising evidence of impact.

We call on the government to build on their investment into the Primary PE and Sport Premium and harness the contribution Physical Education, daily physical activity and sport can make in secondary schools, if it is explicitly focussed on young people’s wellbeing.

Latest news

From the pitch to the page: Author pens live Lionesses story

The National Literacy Trust, Rebellion and The Football Association have teamed up to launch a free live story following the journey of England’s Lionesses at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Continue Reading

Youth Sport Trust launches new partnership with sporting retailer Decathlon

The Youth Sport Trust is delighted to announce a new partnership with Decathlon, the world’s largest sporting retailer.
Continue Reading

Almost two in three UK adults agree Physical Education should be a core subject

Almost two in three UK adults agree that Physical Education should be a core subject in the national curriculum, new research conducted by YouGov on behalf of children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust has found.
Continue Reading

YST responds to new Ofsted inspection framework

Ofsted has today published its new education inspection framework which will take effect from September 2019. Read our response here.
Continue Reading

Charity launches countdown to YST National School Sport Week

Children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust has today started the countdown for this summer’s YST National School Sport Week – with a call for more time on the curriculum for Physical Education in every school.
Continue Reading

DfE does not plan to change curriculum PE requirement

YST responds to Government official response to an online petition calling for Physical Education to be made a core subject in schools from Key Stage 1 through to Key Stage 5.
Continue Reading
More News