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Theale Green headteacher backs Youth Sports Trust long-term strategy to improve children's mental health



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The headteacher at Theale Green School has backed plans to help increase the physical and mental wellbeing of children in the digital age.

Joanna Halliday travelled to Westminster last month along with other headteachers and the Youth Sport Trust to launch the new long-term strategy that will enable the power of play and sport to be harnessed by children to build a sense of belonging.

Titled ‘inspiring changemakers, building belonging’, the 13-year project hopes to transform attitudes, improve practices and drive policy change to facilitate a better mental environment for young people across the country.

The new long-term strategy will enable the power of play and sport to be harnessed by children to build a sense of belonging
The new long-term strategy will enable the power of play and sport to be harnessed by children to build a sense of belonging

Youth Sports Trust chief executive Alison Oliver said: “Children’s social and emotional wellbeing is in decline, and the findings today show there is a real concern from parents that their children are not getting enough play and sport.”

Research commissioned by the Youth Sport Trust and conducted by YouGov found that 83 per cent of British parents are concerned that children are spending too much time online and not enough time with one another, and 80 per cent think that cuts to PE, sport and break times in school have a negative impact on young people’s wellbeing.

Ms Oliver also said: “When children play and are physically active, they are happy, healthy and achieve.

“There is compelling evidence for the case for more play and sport in children’s lives. Daily physical activity, play and the development of physical literacy should be an integral part of every childhood.”

The new scheme will employ various tactics to help the wellbeing of the younger generation.

These include equipping educators with the right tools to help those who have been either physically or mentally affected by the pandemic, encouraging schools to make sport a key part of their ethos, and mobilising social media influencers to help make the wellbeing of young people an important national issue.



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