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Girls Active: Secondary

Girls Active is our commitment to fostering girls' participation in PE, sport and physical activity. The programme aims to tackle the barriers girls experience and through cultivating a movement of girls and young women, empower them to take positive action through influencing, leading, and inspiring their peers.


The framework of Girls Active has six key principles that underpin effective practice in engaging girls to be physically active. These have positive relationships at their core and should be supported by whole school policies and practice.

1. Take a long-term approach to engaging girls

2. Put developing self-confidence at the heart of PE

3. Make PE and sport relevant to girls lives

4. Recognise the power of friends to drive progress

5. Develop role models for the future

6. Empower girls to design and deliver PE and sport.

By age 7, girls are already less active than boys and this disparity widens as they move from childhood into adolescence. Adolescent girls are more likely to experience barriers to participation than boys with the biggest drop-off occurring during the transition from primary to secondary school.

At this time there are multiple factors that affect girls’ participation including disruption to friendship groups, the onset of puberty and declining body confidence and the increasing need to ‘fit in’ and be accepted amongst their peers.

You can find out more about girls participation in sport here. Or, read the latest national research reports, published in October 2023 here.

· Across all ages, fewer girls (45%) meet physical activity recommendations compared with boys (50%) (Sport England, 2022)

· Of girls who were physically active in primary school, 43% no longer felt that way once reaching secondary school (Women in Sport, 2022)

· Concerns or being self-conscious about their appearance often stops girls (37%) taking part in fun activities (Girlguiding, 2023).

If you would like to know more information please contact [email protected].