FOR EVERY YOUNG PERSON

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1 FIT FOR WORK ACTIVE EDUCATION AND TRAINING FIT FOR LIFE ACCESS TO SPORT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY FOR EVERY YOUNG PERSON A BLUEPRINT FOR SPORT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN COLLEGES

2 WE BELIEVE EVERY YOUNG PERSON HAS THE RIGHT TO ACCESS HIGH QUALITY SPORT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY WHATEVER THEIR BACKGROUND GENDER OR PLACE OF STUDY

3 INTRODUCTION Taking part in sport and physical activity has proven benefits, impacting on health, wellbeing and confidence, and helping young people to develop transferable skills. For 16 to 19-year-olds, the development of these skills is particularly vital. The highest percentage of young people aged between 16 and 19 are educated or trained in one of 336 colleges in England, including a greater than average proportion of students from ethnic minority backgrounds, deprived areas and with disabilities. Colleges play a pivotal role in helping these young people fulfil their potential, supporting their progression to higher study or employment and, in turn, making a vital contribution to the economy. Focus on this age group and we can achieve a significant return on investment. Currently, only 20% of students take part in sport at college compared with 40% of school pupils aged 14 or 15. This decline is particularly significant among young women. The further education sector is vibrant and flexible, and with over 1,000 sites and an average of 20 sports on offer at each college there is huge scope to address the drop-off in the number of young people participating in sport and physical activity. Working together, we can reach the 830, to 19-year-olds who study in colleges. The recommendations put forward in this document highlight the potential of colleges and the role the next Government can play in changing the lives of young people through sport. ABOUT AOC SPORT AoC Sport is the lead representative organisation for college sport and physical activity. Our vision is that every student is encouraged, supported and has the opportunity to participate in sport and physical activity as an integrated part of their college experience, contributing to learning, progression and the development of active and sporting habits for life. AoC Sport is a subsidiary of the Association of Colleges (AoC), and this document has been prepared as a specialist addition to the AoC manifesto. PAGE 3

4 OUR BLUEPRINT FOR COLLEGE SPORT Our blueprint is based on the following beliefs: Sport and physical activity are essential to achieving economic and personal growth. Colleges positively shape and change the lives of young people and adults. To ensure continued access to high quality sport and physical activity for every young person, wherever they choose to study, we propose the following recommendations: Sport and physical activity for all Ensure all young people, in all settings, have equal access to sport, physical activity and competition. Ensure high quality PE, sport and physical activity programmes are joined-up across schools, colleges and universities. Develop fit for purpose sport and physical activity facilities in all educational settings. Provide high quality competitive sport opportunities for all 16 to 19-year-olds. Active education and training Embed physical activity within education and training provision for all young people, creating healthy habits for life. Help every college to provide programmes to engage the least active. Introduce specific guidelines and programmes for sport and physical activity for 16 to 19-year-olds. Support every college to develop a cross-college sport strategy and appoint a strategic lead for sport. Fit for work Support students to move into high quality careers in sport and leisure, become fit for other vocations and develop transferable skills. Use sport as a tool to engage 16 to 19-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET). Improve careers guidance for the sport and leisure industry. Develop vocation-specific fitness and physical activity programmes to cut the cost of inactivity and improve economic prosperity. PAGE 4

5 SPORT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY FOR ALL Ensure all young people, in all settings, have equal access to sport, physical activity and competition. ensure high quality PE, sport and physical programmes are joined-up across schools, colleges and universities Sport and physical activity provision should be age-appropriate, taking into account key transition phases at ages 5, 11, 14, 16 and 18 or 19. We support the Youth Sport Trust s call for five hours of high quality PE, sport and physical activity in schools to ensure all younger children are physically literate. The key transition from school to college, however, requires a bespoke approach to maintain participation levels and prevent drop-off. We call for the Department for Education, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and Department of Health to work together to ensure that high quality programmes are joined-up across education, including at colleges. DEVELOP Fit for purpose sport and physical activity FACILITIES IN ALL EDUCATIONAL SETTINGS There are not enough spaces for 16 to 19-year-olds to play sport. 15% of colleges have no indoor sport facilities and 18% do not have grass pitches. To address this, a mechanism should be put in place to enable all new educational institutions to offer fit for purpose sport and physical activity facilities. The Government should also help existing institutions to provide facilities for sport, starting with those with no appropriate indoor spaces. This links with AoC s manifesto recommendation that the Government should undertake a once in a generation review of how money is spent at each stage of education. PROVIDE HIGH QUALITY Competitive sport opportunities for all 16 to 19-year-olds All 16 to 19-year-olds should have access to competitive sport opportunities, either as a player, volunteer or official. Sport builds character, determination and resilience, and AoC Sport has a competitive sport structure that helps young people develop lifelong personal, social and employability skills. The 16 to 19 competitive sport pathway should be supported and extended to include specialist disability colleges to give all young people the opportunity to compete, regardless of ability. PAGE 5

6 ACTIVE EDUCATION AND TRAINING Embed physical activity within education and training provision for all young people, creating healthy habits for life. Help every college to provide programmes to engage the least active The cost of inactivity is estimated at 8.2 billion per year (Turning the tide of inactivity, ukactive). Sport England research shows that activity levels among young people reduce significantly after the age of 14, and even more post-16. Colleges should be supported, through targeted interventions, to implement physical activity initiatives cross-college, particularly for young women and other less active groups. Introduce specific government guidelines and programmes for sport and physical activity for 16 to 19-year-olds Older teenagers are currently incorporated into guidelines and programmes for children. Government recommendations for activity levels should take into account the specific needs of this group. The Department of Health should introduce clear health guidelines for 16 to 19-year-olds and work with the college sector to implement recommended levels. Support every college to develop a cross-college sport strategy and appoint a strategic lead for sport Providing specialist training for primary school teachers and ensuring every school has a Head of PE or equivalent is critical to the development of sport in schools, and we support the Youth Sport Trust s work in these areas. In colleges, cross-organisation sport and physical activity strategies coordinate and provide a focus for a large number of complex programmes. Every college should be supported so that they are able to employ a Director of Sport and Physical Activity who is responsible for producing a cross-college strategy and working with partners, such as local sports clubs, County Sports Partnerships and leisure providers. PAGE 6

7 FIT FOR WORK Support students to move into high quality careers in sport and leisure, become fit for other vocations and develop transferable skills. Use sport as a tool to engage 16 to 19-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) There are many examples of how sport can be used to help and encourage young people back into education, training and work. Further interventions should be introduced to ensure that these young people have access to the full range of flexible training provision and can link to employers through sport at their local college. Improve careers guidance for the sport and leisure industry Young people are not always aware of the excellent vocational and academic options, facilities, teaching and employer links offered by colleges. In line with the AoC manifesto, a clearly signposted local careers hub for sport and leisure employment opportunities should be created to provide all young people with access to a single point of contact for post-14 education, training and employment advice. The sport and leisure industry is worth over 20 billion and creates 440,000 jobs, and effective careers advice will help develop a workforce for the future. DEVELOP Vocation-specific fitness and physical activity programmes to cut the cost of inactivity and improve economic prosperity All industries and sectors benefit from the creation of a happy, healthy workforce. A workforce is particularly effective if they are physically fit and have the transferable skills that involvement in sport brings. Participation in sport and physical activity, which is suitably adapted for the vocation, should be supported in all training and work environments to reduce absenteeism and cut the costs of staff sickness. This should start in colleges where a link between physical fitness and vocational areas can be made. PAGE 7

8 AoC Sport 2-5 Stedham Place London WC1A 1HU T: E: W:

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