England Report Card 2016_Government

published by AHKE16

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Government Strategies and Investment
Evidence of leadership and commitment in providing physical activity opportunities for all children and youth. Allocated funds and resources for the implementation of physical activity promotion strategies and initiatives for all children and youth. Demonstrated progress through the key stages of public policy making (i.e. policy agenda, policy formation, policy implementation, policy evaluation and decisions about the future).
Although several government policies and strategies are in place, this benchmark could not be graded because there is a lack of independent and robust evaluation of such strategies. It is therefore difficult to know how successful they are in terms of promoting increased physical activity participation among children across England. Thus an INC grade was given for a second time. However, since there has generally been a lack of improvement in the grades since the 2014 Report Card, and a lack of increased physical activity levels, it is unlikely that such strategies are having a significant impact on a large scale.
The Grade
Strategies, policies & investment*
PE and Sport Premium
£150 million ring-fenced funding provided to all primary schools in England; this will be doubled from April 2018 as part of the new sugar tax [3]
It is important to note that some of the above strategies overlap with one another (e.g. the healthy schools rating scheme is part of the Childhood Obesity Strategy), and some initiatives are on a voluntary basis (e.g. the Bikeability scheme is not currently in the National Curriculum). Although the importance of physical activity for all children is well recognised, a lot of the current strategies focus on organised sports participation and there appears to be less investment for secondary schools than primary schools. Furthermore, the Childhood Obesity Strategy has been heavily criticised with many reporting that the plan is weak and has been 'watered down'.[4]
Childhood Obesity Strategy
This is a social marketing campaign - Change4Life Sports Clubs are also available at various schools
The School Games
Sporting Future
Aim: Increase the % of children aged 5-10 that usually walk to school
Approximately 55% of primary schools offered cycle training to MCS participants, through the Bikeability scheme in 2012 [1]
Though, in a recent study, no evidence of increased cycling frequency levels were found among children who had received training compared to those who had not [2]
Everybody Active, Every Day
Inspired by 2012
Investment as part of the London 2012 legacy plans
Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy
Includes the soft drinks industry levy ('The Sugar Tax') which will be implemented from April 2018 [3]
Healthy Schools Rating Scheme
Denis Cristo/
A number of different factors and levels of influence (i.e. the built environment, schools and families) must be considered when trying to increase children and young people’s physical activity levels. Consequently, various government departments which have differing responsibilities relating to these factors must continue to collaborate and share available resources. Programmes that have been implemented need to be evaluated using robust measures to ensure that future programmes can be improved. This process must be continued along with frequent monitoring of physical activity participation using nationally representative samples.[5] Physical activity should be a way of life and focussing predominantly on organised sport participation may not be the way forward considering that it will not appeal to everyone and is unlikely to provide a sufficient amount of activity alone.[6] A range of strategies which aim to promote active living by creating opportunities for a variety of activity-related behaviours across all age groups are needed.
IR Stone/
*Website links for each strategy/policy outlined above, in alphabetical order: Bikeability: Change4Life: Childhood Obesity Strategy: Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy: Everybody Active Every Day: Healthy Rating Scheme for Primary Schools: Inspired by 2012: PE and Sport Premium: Sporting Future: The School Games: References: [1] Goodman A, van Sluijs EMF, Ogilvie D. Cycle training for children: which schools offer it and who takes part? J Transp Health 2015;2:512-21. [2] Goodman A, van Sluijs EMF, Ogilvie D. Impact of offering cycle training in schools upon cycling behaviour: a natural experimental study. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2016;13:34. [3] Budget 2016: Some of the things we've announced [news release]. HM Treasury and The RT Hon George Osborne MP; March 16, 2016. [4] The Lancet. UK Government won't step up to the plate on childhood obesity. The Lancet 2016;388:841. [5] Standage M, Wilkie HJ, Jago R, et al. Results from England's 2014 report card on physical activity for children and youth. J Phys Act Health 2014;11(suppl 1):S45-50. [6] Active Healthy Kids Canada. Is Canada in the running? The 2014 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card on physical activity for children and youth. Toronto: Active Healthy Kids Canada, 2014. Abbreviations: MCS, Millennium Cohort Study