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Physical activity providers for children need to ‘improve standard and measure more’

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Organisations providing physical activity programmes for children would attract more public funding if they improved standards and focused on measurement, according to ukactive.

The not-for-profit organisation’s Kids Forum discussed ways to mobilise today’s inactive children in the context of its own report on childhood inactivity and the government’s recently published obesity strategy.

Huw Edwards, public affairs director at ukactive, said that to develop relationships with governments and funding organisations like Sport England, those who offered programmes for children should roll out “fitness measurement and active mile schemes” across schools nationwide.

Measurement will play a big part in the way Ofsted evaluates schools using the PE and Sport Premium, and in the way Sport England funds out-of-school activity for those aged five-plus.

Improving standards and regulation around “quality assurance” for children’s activity professionals would also encourage the government to fund more providers, the forum found.

During the session, Sport England’s director of community sport Mike Diaper gave an overview of the £40m (US$52m, €46.2m) fund the quango has earmarked for children and families, while the Department of Health’s Emma Reed presented key points from the government’s childhood obesity strategy.

Dr Steven Mann, ukactive Kids executive, said the forum was a “significant step forward”, and highlighted the “30 leading children’s activity providers coming together with key government figures”.

He added: “It really is crunch time for activity providers and those who want to be involved in the significant conversations and initiatives that are fast-approaching will need to make sure they are beacons of best practice.”

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Organisations providing physical activity programmes for children would attract more public funding if they improved standards and focused on measurement, according to ukactive.
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