The Childhood Obesity Plan
The Childhood Obesity Plan was launched in 2016 and June 2018 has seen the launch of it's second chapter. The aim of the strategy is to improve children's health and enhance their chances in life through addressing diet and physical activity.
How the Strategy Impacts Schools
Schools have an important role in defining habits and helping their pupils make healthier life choices. Research has proven that obesity rates double in primary school years and increase further in secondary schools. Schools need to equip children with the knowledge they need to lead healthy lifestyles and creating environment which encourage their pupils to eat healthy and be physically active. Regular physical activity has linked not only to improved physical health but also mental wellbeing and academic attainment.
1) The Chief Medical Officer recommends all school-aged children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity everyday, however we know that only approximately one in five achieve this. Schools need to be ensuring that the least active children are being encouraged to be more active. The strategy recommends that during the schools day, schools should be responsible for delivering at least 30 minutes of the total recommended 60 daily minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity.
2) As well as encouraging children to be active while in school, travel to and from school can also be used as an opportunity to increase children's physical activity levels. The strategy highlights that the government will be increasing the funding that is provided to the Walk to School Project, the cycling and walking investment strategy and the Bikeability scheme.
3) A broad and balanced school curriculum should provide opportunities for pupils to develop knowledge and understanding of a range of health related matters. The strategy recommends that in PE, pupils should not only participate in sports and physical activity but also are taught the long term health benefits of physical activity.
What can help schools achieve this:
The Healthy Active School System helps schools to identify where and how they are using their sport premium money and track how active pupils are.
The Daily Mile or similar initiatives provide a simple means of contributing to this ambition.
Engagement in the Walk to School project and Bikeability scheme.
How Cornwall Healthy Schools will help schools achieve these recommendations:
The Cornwall Healthy Schools team will provide schools with guidance and support around how schools can implement The Daily Mile initiative in their school setting. The Cornwall Healthy Schools team will be providing quarterly figures to the Cornwall Public Health team on how many schools are participating in a daily mile initiative.
Our physical activity offer to schools includes training that specifically focusses on how schools can encourage girls and young females, who are consistently highlighted at one of the least active population groups, to be more active.
The Healthy School Award provides schools across the county the opportunity to showcase and accredited for their health and wellbeing work across the schools setting.