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More Suffolk primary schools wanted for Daily Mile as just 19% of leavers get regular exercise in England

PUBLISHED: 06:30 06 August 2017

Kyson Primary School has already signed up to the Daily Mile scheme. Teachers and pupils running or jogging a mile during a school day. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Kyson Primary School has already signed up to the Daily Mile scheme. Teachers and pupils running or jogging a mile during a school day. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Suffolk education chiefs want more headteachers to pledge to take up the scheme to get hundreds more primary school children running, jogging or walking a mile at school every day.

The Daily Mile has been credited with improving children’s focus, behaviour and attainment, reducing obesity levels, and helping mental health issues. Currently, 18 primary schools in Suffolk have signed up.

The EADT and Ipswich Star have both launched high-profile campaigns to encourage more headteachers to sign up. The Daily Mile must be carried out at least three times a week. Children are taken out of the classroom to cover a mile in around 15 minutes at most.

A new report by Public Health England found that less than a fifth of children get the recommended level of exercise by the time they leave primary school.

Some 28% of children aged five-to-seven hit the target of being moderately active for at least 60 minutes every day. But this falls to 17% for children aged 11-12 in England.

• Headteachers who have adopted the Daily Mile have previously spoken of its “amazing” benefits.

Fitness rates have improved, absences rates have dropped, children’s sleeping patterns are better, and pupils have learnt about the importance of being resilient as well as setting and beating targets, they have said.

Tony Goldson, cabinet member for health at Suffolk County Council, said: “Daily exercise can not only improve a child’s fitness, but also their concentration levels, mood, behaviour and general wellbeing, providing life-long benefits.

“Suffolk County Council is supporting the national Daily Mile initiative which encourages children to walk, run or jog for 15 minutes each day. It is a simple but effective concept, which any primary school can easily implement into their daily routine.

“We are already well on our way in making Suffolk the most active county in England. We currently have 18 primary schools signed up through the Daily Mile scheme and we are hopeful that all primary schools in the county will join this fantastic initiative.”

To sign up, see here.

The 18 schools currently signed up in Suffolk are:

Bentley CEVC Primary School

Colneis Junior School

Exning Primary School

Gorseland Primary School

Halifax Primary School

Heath Primary School

Kingsfleet Primary School

Kyson Primary School

Olive Academies - Suffolk (Central)

Ravenswood Primary School

Sexton’s Manor Community Primary School

St Christopher’s CEVCP School

St Edmund’s Catholic Primary School

St. Matthew’s CE (VA) Primary School

St.Botolph’s CEVCP Primary School

Stutton CEVCP Primary School

Westfield Primary Academy

Westgate Community Primary

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