Active Lives Children and Young People Survey 2017/18

Sport England has published findings from the first year of the Active Lives Children and Young People Survey. The online survey was completed in schools in England during the 2017/8 academic year.

The author(s)

  • Dr. Margaret Blake Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Sylvie Hobden Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
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Sport England has published the first report of the Active Lives Children and Young People Survey  which summarises activity levels in England from September 2017 to July 2018.  Sport England commissioned Ipsos MORI to design and carry out the survey to inform Sport England’s strategy and the strategies of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

The survey was carried out online in schools in England during the autumn, spring and summer terms of the 2017/18 academic year.  Questionnaires were completed by pupils in year 1-2 and their parents, pupils in year 3-11, and one teacher in each school.  Schools were recruited with the assistance of County Sports Partnerships, School Games Organisers and others involved in providing support for sport in schools.  During year 1 over 130,000 pupil and parent responses were received from over 2,000 schools.  

The report includes information on how much sport and physical activity young people are doing overall and by different demographic groups and which activities are most prevalent in different year groups.  The report also covers the prevalence of volunteering to support sports and physical activity, which types of volunteering are most common and how the demographic profile of volunteers differs from the population as a whole.  It also explores associations between wellbeing, self-efficacy and social trust, and participation in sport, physical activity and volunteering.  The sample sizes for the survey allow analysis of activity by local authority, county sports partnership and region in order to look at geographical inequalities.

  • The year 1 report – with the data tables and technical note - has now been published on the Sport England website.

Technical information

A sample of schools was drawn from the Department for Education list of schools (Edubase 2016/17) and up to three classes in each school selected. The sample includes state primary, state secondary and independent schools and each school was allocated to a term.  The published pupil level data are weighted to make the weighted achieved sample match the population as closely as possible. Information on the sampling, weighting and how confidence intervals and population estimates were calculated are included in a detailed technical note .

The questionnaire collects detailed information on participation in a wide range of sport and physical activity over the previous week, both at school and outside school.  Information is gathered on the type of activity, time spent doing activities, the intensity, and whether it is indoors or outdoors.  This information was used to create the derived activity variables presented in the report.  In addition, questions are asked about the key outcomes in Sport England’s strategy including wellbeing, and individual and community development as well as related topics such as volunteering and sports spectating. Socio-demographic information is provided at a pupil and school level and allows for analysis of inequalities in sports participation.  Detailed information on swimming proficiency and confidence are also included in the survey.  The data from questions on attitudes and physical literacy will be published in a later output.  The questions asked vary by pupil year group.  Details of the questions, derived variables and definitions are provided in the technical note.

The author(s)

  • Dr. Margaret Blake Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Sylvie Hobden Ipsos Public Affairs, UK

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