Schools to provide 30 minutes of exercise per day under new obesity strategy

The government’s new child obesity plan outlines that primary schools should provide at least 30 minutes of ‘moderate to vigorous’ physical activity a day.

It advises that this should be delivered through active break times, PE lessons, extra-curricular clubs, active lessons or other sport and physical activity events.

The strategy also includes plans for a new sugar levy placed on drinks with large amounts of added sugar. It says that money raised from the levy will be invested into anti-obesity strategies in schools.

This will include doubling the Primary PE and Sport Premium, as well as putting a further £10 million a year into school healthy breakfast clubs, designed to give ‘more children a healthier start to their day’.

In response to the strategy, Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “School leaders will welcome the government’s plan to increase investment into sport and physical activity, and especially the further £10 million a year into school healthy breakfast clubs. We know that a healthy breakfast is a vital start to the day for children, giving them the best conditions for learning. Many children currently arrive in school hungry or hyper due to unbalanced nutrition at home.

“While schools are already very focused on healthy eating and have strict guidelines for canteens, we welcome further training and guidance for early years settings in developing new menus for under fives and encouraging active play.

“Sport and physical activity is already part of the school curriculum and most schools will already be providing 30 minutes of physical activity a day. More funding for schools to set up new schemes for active break times or additional clubs is needed to ensure all primary age children are learning the physical skills and habits required for healthy lifestyles.”

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