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School Exercise: Covid-19

Volume 679: debated on Monday 7 September 2020

What steps the Government are taking to prioritise access to exercise in schools as part of catch-up education as covid-19 restrictions are eased. (905491)

The return to school is an important opportunity to support pupils to increase their physical activity. The Department’s guidance includes information on how schools can provide physical education and opportunities for pupils to be active, including links to detailed advice from the subject organisations.

I think that is a disappointing answer because we know that, going into this crisis, councils were already having to deal with the fact that they had had £42 million cut from their sports budget, which has a knock-on impact on schools. Will the Secretary of State take this opportunity to put on record what he personally is going to do to increase funding support to make sure our kids are physically active at school?

It was a Conservative Government who introduced the sports premium, and it is a Conservative Government who are ensuring that £320 million is going out to schools so they can ensure that youngsters have the kind of activity they want to see. Returning to school, yes, is incredibly important for the learning that all children benefit from, but it is also about the physical health they will get from being back at school. We are backing this with that money and ensuring there are great sports activities in all schools right across the country.