Question reference: S6W-23576
- Date lodged: 5 December 2023
Current status: Answered by Maree Todd on 19 December 2023
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S6O-02743 by Neil Gray on 16 November 2023, what consideration it has given to the role of the education system and associated extracurricular activities in its work to mitigate population trends of levels of inactivity, in order to make a targeted, early intervention for young people.
The Scottish Government understand the importance of sport and physical activity and the positive impact that it has, not only on physical, mental, and social health but on wider social outcomes.
We are committed to ensuring that all children in primary schools receive at least two hours of physical education each school week, and all young people in secondaries 1 to 4 receive at least two 50-minute periods of physical education each school week.
Alongside opportunities to be physically active in physical education, sportscotland works in partnership with all 32 local authorities to invest in and support Active Schools. Active Schools is dedicated to developing and supporting the delivery of high quality sport and physical activity opportunities to all children and young people taking an inclusive approach and providing targeted opportunities where there is a need.
Data published by sportscotland shows significantly increased participation levels across the past academic year (2022-23), with 4.6 million visits to Active Schools sessions, a rise of 34% on 2021-22.
We have committed to ensure that sportscotland’s Active Schools programme is free for all children and young people by the end of this Parliament.
In addition we are funding the Active Play Development Project which provides children with the opportunity to develop physical skills in their early years and to encourage a long-term, positive relationship with physical activity. The programme targets areas of disadvantage and will support more children from areas of higher deprivation, to develop the skills and confidence to enjoy being more physically active.