A new exercise scheme which allows teachers and parents to monitor children’s activities throughout the school day is to be rolled out across the country, to help tackle childhood obesity.
Launched on 31st January, the Health Active Schools System (HASS), has been devised by the children’s activity provider Fit for Sport. It provides schools with reports that chart the activity of individual children on a daily basis.
The initiative comes after a report published last week by the Royal College of Paedriatics and Child Health revealed 40% of children in the country’s most deprived areas were diagnosed as overweight or obese in 2016. This is compared to just 27% in more affluent areas.
In response, the Government’s recent Childhood Obesity Strategy called on primary schools to provide 30 minutes of physical activity every day. The Department of Education also promised to double the amount of funding for Physical Education and sport in schools by the end of the year.
To ensure that schools are adhering to the new guidelines, HASS monitors the overall progress of pupils whilst checking how effective schools are at investing and implementing new sport initiatives with the additional funding.
HASS is open to all primary schools across the country through their sports premium funding. The scheme will provide schools with a breakdown of physical activity levels for each child, class and year group for teachers to see which areas need improvement.
The scheme will also monitor pupils’ ability in swimming lessons, while providing online plans and resources for schools that don’t have access to a full-time PE teacher.
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.”
“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.” She added.
The founder of Fit For Sport, Dean Horridge, 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.”
Find out more about the initiative on the Healthy Active Schools System website.
Source: The Telegraph