Active Lives Children and Young People Survey

What is the Active Lives Survey for Children and Young People?

The Active Lives Survey for Children and Young people was launched in the 2017/2018 academic year. Designed by Sport England, the Department for Education (DfE), the Department for Health (DfH), and the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), its purpose is to gain a detailed insight into the current physical activity habits of the nation's children and young people aged 5 to 16 (school years 1 to 11).

See below direct quotes from the government departments endorsing the benefits of taking part in the survey -

Department for Education

We want to encourage all pupils, regardless of their background, to develop healthy and active lifestyles. The Active Lives: Children and Young People survey offers a fantastic opportunity for schools to better understand how their pupils enjoy sport or physical activity. Teachers and school leaders will also be able to see how their provision benefits young people and develop it further so more pupils have the opportunity to be physically active and enjoy sport.”

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Your school's participation is important in helping us to understand how children engage with sport and physical activity, and the data we gather will play a key role in informing future policy and funding decisions. We are committed to ensuring that all children and young people, particularly those who are currently the least active or from under-represented groups, have the best opportunities to engage in sport and physical activity. Sport and physical activity have a unique power to bind people together, to help transform people’s lives and to strengthen communities. A positive experience of sport and physical activity at a young age can help encourage a lifetime of participation.”

 Department for Health and Social Care

Regular physical activity is associated with a number of benefits that are crucial for a child’s development in their formative years, including improved physical and mental wellbeing and even academic achievement. We want all children to have the opportunity to realise these benefits but we know that the majority do not reach the recommended levels of activity.”
 The Chief Medical Officer recommends all school-aged children get at least 60 minutes of regular physical activity per day but we know roughly only 1 in 5 achieve this. Schools have an important role to play and should aim to ensure all children are getting at least 30 minutes of the overall recommendation during the school day. This survey is an important tool to help us understand more how children are engaging in sport and physical activity so we can support schools, parents, and those with caring responsibilities.”

Data collected through the process will be used by Sport England and central government to shape and unlock, investment in physical activity both nationally and locally.

The survey is being distributed to primary and secondary schools across the Black Country by Active Black Country and will enable us to support participating schools throughout the process.

We have just finished Term 3, the third survey, with 33 Black Country schools selected to take part.

The survey is to be completed online at your school and should take each child no longer than 20 mins to complete.

Each school will need to survey one mixed ability class from three different year groups. The classes and years groups are randomly selected using a Sport England formula, which has been tested as part of a pilot programme completed earlier in the year.

For those schools who have classes selected from years 1 and 2, Sport England would also like parents of these children to complete an online survey on their child’s activities.  Parental consent will be required as the survey is voluntary giving parents/carers the chance to opt their child out of the survey should they wish.

In addition one teacher from each school will be required to complete a short 10 to 20 minute questionnaire.  

If your school is randomly selected to participate by Sport England, Active Black Country will notify you by the start of the term you have been selected to complete the survey in.

Examples of each of the surveys can be found below:

Examples of Survey Reports

Benefits of the survey

  • Each school will receive a bespoke report outlining their results from the survey which will cover measures of children’s activity levels, physical literacy, swimming proficiency, well-being, self-efficacy and levels of social trust. This will provide schools with evidence and insight into how the school is performing in terms of engaging its pupils in sport and physical activity. The report can then be used as a great baseline for the school to identify and plan their use of the Primary PE and Sport Premium funding or as a great overview of the health and well-being of their pupils.
  • Schools will have the opportunity to select from a range of sports equipment as a thank you for their involvement in the survey.  Schools will be able to pick from a range of 31 items which include equipment for multi-skills, such as agility mats and sports day kits, as well as items aimed at play such as balls and a parachute canopy.  The range also includes sport specific, fitness and inclusive sport equipment, ie boccia and goalball kits, and means that all age ranges and abilities are covered.
  • The value of the sports equipment offered to schools will be at least £100, and in most instances will be of greater value.  
    Schools will receive 10 credits as a base incentive if they meet the criteria and this can be used to select either one 10 credit item or two 5 credit items.  Parental responses (Primary Schools only) will continue to generate additional credits ie for every five parental responses received a school will earn a further 5 credits.  There is no cap on the amount of additional credits available for parental responses.

To view the equipment brochure please click here

Relevant Documents

The documents below are applicable to schools carrying out the Active Lives Survey:

          Parent Survey Letter                                   Parent Survey Letter                             Year 3 - 6 Questionnaire 
                   Year 3 - 11                                                 Year 1 and 2                                                  Summary


       Primary School Pupils                                Secondary School Pupils                          Information for Teachers
                Information                                                  Information                                       Conducting the Survey


              Class Teachers                                           Sport England                                       Year 7 - 11 Questionnaire
                Information                                                BACS Form                                                      Summary


If you would like any further information on the Active Lives Survey, or would like to speak to a member of the team, please email Tim Aldred or call Tim on 01384 471103.