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Sport in Schools

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Childcare, early years, School sport

the hands of children on playground apparatus

Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at sport in schools in the wake of the Lionesses World Cup campaign as well as the childcare support provided by the Government to parents.

Sport and physical activity

On Saturday 22 June, the Education Secretary Damian Hinds wrote in the Daily Telegraph about the importance of school sport and the character and resilience shown by the England women’s football team during the World Cup so far. The piece comes ahead of the forthcoming announcement on the School Sport Action Plan.

In the piece, the Education Secretary reflected on his ambition for every pupil to find a sport they love, hoping that both girls and boys will be inspired by the English women’s football team who are in the quarter-final stages of the World Cup.

The Lionesses show traits such as perseverance, grit and determination in their sporting careers, which are so important for children. He says that while the core academic subjects are hugely important, he wants sport and physical activity to be an indispensable part of a child’s day.

Children getting active

Today, Monday 24 June, as part of their Girls Inspired campaign, the Telegraph reported on new research from the Youth Sport Trust that showed parental ignorance is a major factor in the inactivity of children. The piece coincides with the start of National School Sport Week.

The piece referred back to the opinion piece that the Education Secretary wrote on Saturday in the paper, and highlighted his ambition for sport and physical activity to become “an indispensable part of a child’s day”.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

Playing sport keeps you fit and healthy but it has so many other benefits too, from improving mental wellbeing to building character and resilience. I’m delighted that sport’s real power to change lives is being recognised during National School Sport Week – and it is my ambition for every child, no matter their ability or background, to have the opportunity to find a sport they love.

Our School Sport Action Plan will encourage even more pupils to get active, building on the £320-million-a-year PE and Sport premium we invest in primary schools to help them deliver this vital curriculum subject to the highest standards. We are also making health education compulsory from 2020, which will ensure all pupils learn about the important link between exercise, physical health and mental wellbeing.


On Sunday 23 June, the Sunday Times magazine ran a feature length piece on the reality of working and paying for childcare. It looked at affordable quality childcare and paid parental leave across 31 countries and found UK parents were among the most likely to be priced out of childcare.

The piece looks at a co-working space in London Fields called Second Home that integrates workspace and a nursery on site.

More than 700,000 of the most disadvantaged two-year-olds have benefited from 15 hours free childcare since its introduction in 2013 and we are planning to spend around £3.5 billion on our early education entitlements this year alone

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We want every child to have the best start in life, which is why we are planning to spend around £3.5 billion on our early education entitlements this year alone – more than any previous Government.

The Government provides a significant package of childcare to parents and carers, including our 30 hours offer for working parents of three and four year olds, which has benefited around 600,000 children since the policy began. Low income families also have access to support through Universal Credit, which can cover up to 85% of childcare costs.

We are pleased that just last week, data published by Ofsted confirmed that the number of childcare places remains stable but we continue to monitor the provider market closely through a range of research projects.


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