How the Active Lives Children and Young People Survey Can Support Your School

The Active Lives Children and Young People Survey is a world-leading approach to collecting data on how children participate in sport and physical activity. This provides valuable insight for those working with children aged five to sixteen.

The survey offers schools, Sport England, the government, and other partners a comprehensive understanding of children’s activity levels and behaviours, enabling them to shape future policy and investment decisions.

We work with schools across the county to support the collection of data for the Active Lives Children and Young People survey.

Key Points from the Latest Report

Here’s some key points from the latest Active Lives Children and Young People Academic Year 2021-22 report:

  • Overall, it shows that children and young people’s activity levels have recovered back to pre-pandemic levels. This is an encouraging step in the right direction, though there is much more to do.
  • Four million children and young people were active (47%), meeting the Chief Medical Officers’ (CMOs) guidelines of taking part in an average of 60 minutes or more of sport and physical activity a day across the week.
  • Overall activity levels are up 2.6% – 219,000 more active children – compared to 12 months ago, and notably are back in line with 2018/19, the last full academic year before the pandemic.
  • Positively, the number of less active children (those doing less than an average of 30 minutes of activity a day across the week) has decreased by 143,000 (-2.3%). However, it is of concern that there has been a 250,000 increase in the number of children and young people doing no activity at all (+3.3%) compared to the 2017/18 academic year.

Taking Part in the Survey

Each term, a number of schools in England will be randomly selected to take part in the survey.  The aim is to get 100,000 children and young people in Years 1 to 11 to complete it each academic year. Every school that takes part receives a bespoke report from Sport England detailing the results from their pupils.

Below is a link to the list of Devon schools randomly selected to take part in the survey during the summer term 2023. You can email the Early life team via if you’re on the list and would like to find out more. Or contact us if you’re not on the list and would like to take part.

School Resources

To make taking part as easy as possible for schools, Sport England has prepared a number of guidance documents. The documents include school guides that encompass the key information schools need to know.

How Devon Schools Are Using Their Survey Results to Support Their Work

Once schools have their bespoke reports, we will work with them to implement changes based on their learning. Below are two video showing examples of how schools have utilised their results to support their work and improve their practice.

Primary PE Coordinator, JP is using the school report from the survey to target interventions effectively. Such as, to have a record of the ‘child’s voice’ about school sport and to support decisions around the spending of the Primary PE and School Sport Premium. Plus, to establish an overall picture of emotional wellbeing as perceived by the young people in his setting, themselves.

Secondary PE teacher, Helen is using the results of the survey to support her planning of the curriculum. This is to ensure that the sports and activities offered tie-up with those preferred by the young people in her school community. This is leading to a review of the physical activities offered at playtime, lunchtime and after-school provision. Helen will also be extending the scope of the survey by rolling it out across the whole school in the near future.

Active Lives Children and Young People Survey Webinar

To support schools in Devon, we hosted and delivered the webinar shown in the video above. The webinar covers important and useful information about the survey. It explains the process, highlights how the national and local data can support school improvement, and shows the benefits that are associated with adopting the survey.

“The children seemed to be quite engaged and happy to answer the questions whilst completing the survey.”

“The Year 2 survey is great; the children are able to complete it fairly quickly and it is at the correct level for the children. They enjoyed doing it.”