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Fit for Sport launches tool to tackle inactivity in schools

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children’s activity levels at school can now be monitored after the launch of an online measuring tool in a bid to help tackle Obesity.

The Healthy Active schools System (HASS) has been created by children’s activity provider Fit For Sport and is available to primary schools so they can track, monitor and evaluate fitness levels, and report on them. The tool can:

- records physical activity and promotes pupil wellbeing for OFSTED

- tracks PE and sport premium spend and creates reports to show how the money has been used and the impact it has had - shows which pupils and classes are achieving 30 minutes of physical activity each day at school

- monitors and records pupils’ ability to swim 5m to 50m - provides access to resources to help plan safe, structured and fun activities for PE and school activities

- records data that can be used to assist writing school sport reports for parents - tracks school sport participation at Level 1 and Level 2 competition

The launch of the free resource comes after the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health’s State of Child Health report last week, which highlighted that 40 per cent of children in England’s most deprived areas were overweight or obese in the last year, compared to 27 per cent living in more affluent areas.

The college called for each UK Government to develop, co-ordinate, implement and evaluate a child health and wellbeing strategy.

Public Health England recommends that primary school aged children (4-11) engage in 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity throughout the school day.

It also recommends children do 30 minutes’ activity with parents/carers outside of school. However, figures show that half of seven year olds fail to meet the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended 60 daily active minutes, and one in five children does no sport or physical activity at school each week.

Speaking about the launch of the tool, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, chair of ukactive, said: “Today’s generation of children are the least active ever and the first in history to face potentially shorter lifespans than their parents.

“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.”

As part of the tool, Fit For Sport offers an Activity Challenge that comprises three activities – running, catching and jumping. The provider recommends all pupils do the challenge to benchmark their start point of the HASS and then repeat the challenge at the end of each term to see how they have progressed.

The aim is to reach the ‘Gold’ standard of activity level and skills – which equates to meeting the Public Health England target. Fit For Sport said only 14 per cent of children are meeting the recommended Gold standard.

Dean Horridge, Fit For Sport founder, said: “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.

“Our Activity Challenge has proven highly successful in a school setting. It forms the basis of physical activity among all children – be they ‘sporty’ or not - and that is why we have chosen it to be our measurement tool for HASS. Teachers simply upload their class lists against it and input each child’s result. This gives an individual and class picture and will help give teachers a clear idea of what they should be working on: by the next Activity Challenge, a distinct improvement in skills and fitness should be seen.”

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Children’s activity levels at school can now be monitored after the launch of an online measuring tool in a bid to help tackle obesity.
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