Responding to UK Active’s Generation Inactive 2 report, Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Ali Oliver said:
“UK Active are absolutely right to be sounding a warning about the decline in physical activity among young people and its consequences. Today’s young people are among the least active ever, and their wellbeing is in desperate decline.
“As this helpful report points out, our own research has shown that this is happening at a time when PE is being cut back in secondary schools.
“There is a real consensus between YST and UK Active that the place of PE in our schools needs to be transformed, a long-term commitment to the Primary PE and Sport Premium needs to be established and that a more joined-up approach to children’s health and wellbeing is vital for this and future generations.
“We echo UK Active’s call for a longer-term commitment to the future of the primary PE and Sport Premium. If this funding is to have a long-term impact there also needs to be more robust accountability over how it is being spent and greater focus on supporting pupils to make a seamless transition from primary to secondary school.
“YST’s Believing in Every Child’s Future strategy, published earlier this year, set out the need to transform PE so that it is positioned and delivered to makes an impact on every young persons’ health and wellbeing. UK Active are right to call for PE to be a core subject within the National Curriculum, but it will also be essential that government champions it as a core subject within academies who set their own curriculum.
“Opportunities for PE and school sport to play a fuller role in tackling some of the big issues facing young people being missed because they are too often treated in isolation. To help turn the tide on the crisis in young people’s wellbeing, government should establish a joined-up plan for PE and sport in schools which focuses on unlocking its potential to improve young people’s health, wellbeing and life chances.”