Partnership Summit to Determine Future of PE, School Sport, and Physical Activity in Schools

Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 04:06 pm

More than 120 delegates from 70 organisations gathered at Villa Park in Birmingham on 25th September for the School Sport & Activity Sector Partnership (SSASP) Summit. The event was organised by the Youth Sport Trust (YST) in response to the government’s School Sport & Activity Action Plan, published in 2019.

David Marshall from British Gymnastics, who has been involved in the sector partnership from the start, commented: “This provides a great, unique opportunity for so many people across the sector to come together to talk about ways to improve school sport and activity. Individually we all do positive work in this area, but the Youth Sport Trust bringing people together with different backgrounds and perspectives is what makes days like this so worthwhile. Meetings like today really help to drive collaboration that continues beyond the day itself, and helps to forge connections that are crucial to driving improvements not only across the sector, but help us to improve our own organisations delivery and supporting young people.”

The summit included an opening address from Ali Oliver, CEO of Youth Sport Trust, which highlighted some of the latest updates in the sector, including the recent OFSTED PE report showing a decrease in PE hours in secondary schools and recent government strategy updates. Representatives from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Department of Education also spoke, confirming that conversations and insights from the day would inform future policy and direction.

Sally Bacon OBE from the Cultural Learning Alliance delivered a keynote speech, sharing the learnings she had taken from the setting up of a shared partnership in the art and culture sector. She pointed out that evidence is key and highlighted the four key elements to build sector support: Consultation, Coalition is king, Clarity is key and Crafting the value narrative out of a solid evidence base.

Delegates then joined smaller sessions, including the partnership’s ‘action groups’ exploring key themes and system issues in the context of youth engagement, workforce development and physical literacy. A series of TED Talks were also delivered by experts from across the school sport and physical activity sector. Members of the National Youth Sport Forum were also present to provide an invaluable youth voice and context throughout the day.

The summit concluded with a call to action to challenge everyone in the room to continue driving that united voice, working out how to build for the future and how to align collectively to drive change to improve life chances for young people.

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