Active Lives Children and Young People Survey 2019/20

Last week, Sport England published its latest Active Lives Children and Young People Survey for the 2019/20 academic year. Alongside this, it also published a standalone Coronavirus report which focused on the summer term period. The reports look at pupils’ levels of physical activity alongside the activities they participate in. It also looks to identify pupils’ levels of competence and confidence.



Less active – less than an average of 30 minutes physical activity per day

Fairy active – an average of 30-59 minutes of physical activity per day

Active – an average of 60+ minutes of physical activity per day


  • 31.3% pupils – Less active, 23.8% of pupils – Fairly active and 44.9% of pupils – Active 
  • 1.9% decrease in number of pupils classed as ‘Active’ with a 2.4% increase in pupils classed as ‘Less active’
  • Boys participation levels have dropped however they are still more likely to be active than girls whose participation levels have generally stayed the same
  • Secondary age pupils have maintained or increased activity levels whereas primary age pupils have seen a decrease in physical activity levels across all age groups
  • Pupils of all affluence groups saw a drop in participation but this was most prominent in those in the low affluence group
  • Black or mixed ethnicity pupils saw noticeable decreases in activity levels
  • Most activities have seen a drop in participation levels with a few notable exceptions      (see below)
  • There is a positive association between engagement and activity with mental wellbeing, individual development, and community development with those participating less likely to feel lonely

Covid-19 Report (Mid-May to late-July 2020)

  • Although overall reductions have been minimised, the disruption has had an unprecedented impact upon physical literacy, with changes to perceived competence,  confidence and enjoyment of concern going forward
  • Decrease of 2.3% (just over 100,000) of pupils who are classed as ‘Active’
  • 16% (1million) drop in pupils taking part in team sports/athletics/swimming with the biggest gains in cycling/fitness/walking
  • Generally, there has been a reduction in activity requiring facilities or organisation and an increase in individual sport/activity
  • Decrease in confidence/competence particularly at primary age
  • Activity levels for boys in Y5 and above have seen the biggest reductions however girls  across all age groups have generally maintained levels of participation with girls levels of happiness increasing
  • Pupils from low affluent backgrounds did not see a reduction in participation levels but they were starting from a lower level of engagement
  • Noticeable decreases in children’s resilience to continue trying activities that they  find difficult 

Both reports can be found here.

St Helens West SGO Area

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