Weekly Column 08.08.19

I am always pleased to be invited to visit schools across Staffordshire Moorlands and really enjoy meeting the children and staff. I am struck by the passion and dedication of the teachers working in our schools and would like to thank them for their hard work.

Many local young people will now be awaiting exam results, which is always a nervous time. But the hard work of teachers, combined with this Government’s reforms, means pupils will have more options than ever before – whatever path they chose to take.

I welcome the recent announcement that the Government is boosting the opportunities for children to access 60 minutes of daily sport and physical activity, whether that be in school, after school or during weekends and holidays. This is something I championed when I was Secretary of State for DCMS and comes after data from Sport England’s ‘Active Lives Children and Young People’ survey showed that a third of children are currently doing fewer than 30 minutes of physical activity a day.

The School Sport and Activity Action Plan will set out a range of new measures to strengthen the role of sport within a young person’s daily routine, explain how teachers and parents can play their part and promote a joined-up approach to physical activity and mental wellbeing.

A series of regional pilots will be launched to trial innovative approaches to getting more young people active, particularly less active groups such as girls and those from disadvantaged backgrounds and schools and sports clubs will work together to share their facilities and expertise.

I believe that every pupil should have the chance to find a sport they love, setting them up to lead healthy, active lives and equipping them with the skills to reach their full potential, both inside and outside the classroom.