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23 November 2020

Research finds Birmingham schools with higher engagement in PE and sport enhance children’s health, wellbeing and development

The Centre for Sport, Physical Education & Activity Research (spear) conducted an evaluation across schools in Birmingham to find out where and why schools engage in sport and physical activity opportunities.

Spear’s research, commissioned by Sport Birmingham, shows local schools engage with around a third of PE and School Sport and Physical Activity (PESSPA) opportunities available to them. The research also found schools in districts with higher PESSPA engagement are associated with lower income deprivation, less children living in poverty, lower levels of criminal behaviour and better Key Stage 2 results.

Spear provided recommendations for Sport Birmingham to encourage greater engagement and outcomes for schools across Birmingham.

James Grinsted, Senior Partnerships Manager at Sport Birmingham, said: “Sport Birmingham will use the findings from the report to inform our future planning and strategy for our school-focused work. This will include identifying areas of the city requiring more resource and support, and also any commonalities between engagement levels in PESSPA and other key measures. The report will be shared with key local and national partners through a series of sharing events to also inform any future collaborative work across the city.”

Spear’s Research Director Dr Abby Foad, commented on the findings: “Grassroots sports have been severely impacted by Covid-19, reducing opportunities for young people to be active. It is more important than ever that schools make space for sport and physical activity, but they may need help to see how this can support their evolving agenda and be delivered in a safe, effective and manageable way.

“We’ll be presenting the findings to the School Games Organiser network on 24 November.”

“These recommendations can be used by Sport Birmingham and Schools Games Organisers to support schools’ provision of the activity opportunities vital to young people’s health, happiness, wellbeing and development as we move through and beyond Covid-19.”

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Last edited: 15/01/2020 11:19:00