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At what cost? Fewer than half of primary schools say they could keep children active if school sport funding is cut

A group of young people playing basketball on a sunny day

Young people are likely to become more inactive and suffer poorer health as a result of critical school sport funding delays, a children’s charity is warning.

Fewer than half of all children in England (47.2%) are active for the Chief Medical Officer’s (CMO) recommended 60 minutes every day. New research from the Youth Sport Trust suggests that children’s activity levels are likely to deteriorate further unless the government urgently commits to vital school sport provision beyond this summer. Current uncertainty around the £320 million Primary PE and Sport Premium ringfenced funding pot and protection for the nationwide network of School Games Organisers is raising concerns for children’s wellbeing.

Schools, young campaigners, health experts, sports organisations and stars including Sir Mo Farah are warning that millions of children may lose opportunities to play sport, learn how to swim and stay active, with school sport facing a looming crisis, following the stark research.

The charity’s research indicates that schools will next month start planning for cuts to sporting provision from September, with many saying they will struggle to provide 30 daily minutes of physical activity for every child next year. The findings suggest that young people from low-income families will suffer most, with schools who have a higher proportion of pupils on free school meals likely to be most affected.