More Suffolk primary schools wanted for Daily Mile as just 19% of leavers get regular exercise in England
- Credit: 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.
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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.
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“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.”
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