The new Childhood Obesity Strategy, which was made compulsory this term in England and is voluntary in the rest of the UK, has now been introduced by many schools, according to the latest research.
This new directive requires all primary schools in England to provide 30 minutes of physical activity on a daily basis to all children in the school, in addition to 2 hours of PE.
Research undertaken in November suggests that there are two main reasons as to why some schools have delayed implementation; these relate both to funding and to how the compulsory 30 minutes a day activity can practically be introduced into lessons.
Fortunately, since the announcement of the new strategy solutions have been found to both the issue of funding and to the issue of the practicality of introducing the activity to all pupils every day, no matter what the weather.
In terms of the funding, the PE and Sport Premium funding is being provided jointly by the Departments for Education, Health and Culture, Media and Sport, and has been allocated to heads of primary schools in England.
By way of example, the average primary school with 250 children will receive £18,500 Obesity Strategy funding this academic year. The release is in tranches with the 1st 7/12ths already taking place in November and the 2nd 5/12ths in May. As for the additional activity, there are a growing range of resources that can be used in class as part of each lesson. This means that children don’t require specialist PE activities each day nor do they have to go outside; the funding can instead be used to provide resources to use in the classroom as part of their lessons.
The government has also confirmed that these activities within lessons are to be counted as physical activity – which is extremely helpful during the winter. This also avoids putting undue pressure on colleagues who take PE lessons.