Today’s launch of the Healthy Active Schools System (HASS) – an online activity measurement tool for schools – is meeting demand from parents and Government to track, measure and report on children’s activity levels at schools.
Research conducted in 2016 by the UK’s leading children’s activity provider Fit For Sport shows that 90% of parents want to know how active their child is in school and would welcome a ‘School Sport Report’ in much the same way they are informed of progress and ability in classroom subjects. Furthermore, 88% of parents surveyed wanted information and practical tools to help get their children more active outside of school. HASS – devised and delivered by Fit For Sport – is being offered to primary schools so they can track, monitor and evaluate children’s activity levels, and report on this quickly and easily.
Its launch is particularly apt, as it meets key recommendations in The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health’s landmark State of Child Health report. Two weeks ago the Department for Education also announced that it was going to double the PE and sport premium for schools from September 2017, making the HASS launch especially timely for those schools seeking to show how they would make the most of this increase in funding and accurately track its impact.
Today’s generation of children are the least active ever and the first in history to face potentially shorter lifespans than their parents.
The report, published on January 26, 2017, highlighted that 40% of children in England’s most deprived areas were overweight or obese in the last year, compared to 27% living in more affluent areas, and it calls for each UK Government to develop, co-ordinate, implement and evaluate a child health and wellbeing strategy.
The HASS records, monitors, reports and evaluates the physical activity levels of each child, class, year group and school, providing all-important measurement data. It clearly shows where support and services are needed, enabling local councils to deploy resources directly where needed.
“Today’s generation of children are the least active ever and the first in history to face potentially shorter lifespans than their parents,” says Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, chair of ukactive. “Through its recent strategies, the UK government has acknowledged that there is a serious problem, but without robust measurement of our children’s fitness and physical literacy, we will continue to have gaping holes in our evidence base and be unable to measure impact. Empowering schools to track and monitor children’s activity is the first step to understanding the true nature of the childhood inactivity problem. Armed with this, we can react with the most appropriate and effective interventions to give our children the best chance of a happy and healthy adulthood.”
Public Health England recommends that primary school aged children (4-11) engage in 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity throughout the school day. They recommend children also do 30 minutes’ activity with parents/carers outside of school.
The HASS is already making an impact in schools throughout Sandwell, leading to improvements in pupils’ physical activity levels and ability and an overall progression towards schools becoming more active.
Dean Horridge, founder of Fit For Sport says: “I defy any primary school which says they won’t benefit from using the Healthy Active Schools System. It responds to Government recommendations, tackles childhood obesity and physical inactivity head on, is free to use and delivers vast amounts of valuable data. It sets the benchmark and I urge all schools to get involved.
With 25 years’ experience, Fit For Sport is the UK’s leading expert in educating and engaging children and young people through physical activity. Fit For Sport currently Trains, Supports and Delivers in over 350 schools each week, keeping over 250,000 children active. Its 500 Activity Leaders and Assistants working across the UK believe that helping children to enjoy being active from an early age will set them on a journey to a healthy, active life.