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One of the big challenges to come from Government’s new strategy reflects something that the FSPA asked for in our consultation response – Sport England’s remit starts at age 5.
This is important as we know that if children are engaged at any early age they are more likely to continue to be active as they grow up and develop a sporting habit for life. Expanding the remit also allows the greater integration of community, physical activity and school sport from the earliest age and better coordination across Government departments.
Linked to this the Department for Culture, Media and Sport will work with Sport England, Department of Education, and others such as Public Health England in the first half of 2016 to develop an extension to the Active Lives (replaces APS) method for measuring children’s engagement in sport and physical activity.
FSPA highlighted weaknesses with swimming in our consultation response 45% of 7-11 year olds cannot swim 25m. So Government are setting up a working group “to advise on how to ensure that no child leaves school unable to meet a minimum standard of capability and confidence in swimming, including disabled young people and those with Special Educational Needs.” The group will report at the end of 2016.
And in terms of workforce, Sport England will develop a new coaching plan by early 2016 and also support the Chartered Institute for the management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) to implement a single set of standards for all sport and exercise professionals starting in January 2016.
The strategy sets out five outcomes under which outputs will be measured by key performance indicators (KPI’s). Several of the KPI’s relate to children and young people including:
The Strategy raises many opportunities for children and young people. We hope to hear more about the detail underpinning many of the actions in the Strategy over the next few months so we can see how best we can work together to ensure that all children and young people have the opportunity to be active in whatever they want.
Jane Montgomery, FSPA