To mark National School Sport Week which gets underway today (Monday, June 23) the Youth Sport Trust is to launch a new survey to investigate the quality and provision of PE and school sport, over concerns of a 'postcode lottery' of participation.
The survey, which has been developed with the support of headteachers, will aim to identify the varying levels of provision across the country and give schools the opportunity to assess their own performance against others locally and nationally.
Since 2010 there has been no national survey resulting in a lack of current intelligence around provision, the activity levels of pupils, and emerging trends across physical education, physical activity and school sport.
Alongside participation rates, schools will be asked to consider the value they place on PE and sport to improve the well-being, social skills and educational achievement of young people.
The launch of the survey comes as thousands of schools and young people prepare to take part in National School Sport Week (23-27 June). Celebration events are taking place across the country with pupils taking part in a wide range of sports and activities.
John Steele, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said:
"National School Sport Week is the ideal time to shine a spotlight on the importance of PE and school sport. We work with many schools that share our belief that a good PE and sport offer can raise the achievement and attainment of all young people.
"However, we do have significant concerns that the level of provision across the country is not consistent, which could be resulting in a postcode lottery of provision. Our survey will investigate this as it risks leaving some young people without the high-quality experience they deserve.
"It is crucial that we play a key role in improving physical activity rates amongst young people and there couldn't be a more important time for us to investigate the current levels of PE and sport in schools.
"There are some fantastic events taking place across the country this week that will demonstrate how young people can be motivated and inspired through PE and sport and how it can be used to boost performance across the curriculum."
Since 2009, 9.6 million young people and 22,000 schools have taken part in National School Sport Week. This year schools are being urged to devote a full week to sporting themes and events and ultimately encourage all their young people to take part in five hours of PE and sport.
In Birmingham 700 primary school pupils will take part in an event today (Monday, June 23) to celebrate the Commonwealth Games with competitions in handball, sitting volleyball and mini fencing among the activities taking place. The event will be attended by Olympic silver medallist Gail Emms, and is supported by 100 secondary school sports leaders.
"I have been involved in National School Sport Week for many years and every time I am extremely impressed by the young people taking part and the importance that schools place on delivering fantastic events for their pupils.
"It is extremely important that all young people have access to high quality PE and sport. The Youth Sport Trust's new survey will hopefully give a much clearer indication of where provision is good and where action is urgently required."
All schools will be sent a link to complete the survey the week commencing Monday, June 23.