Active Lives Children and Young People

The world-leading survey gives a detailed picture of the activity levels of children and young people in England

The new Active Lives Children and Young People Survey reflects one of our new ways of working following on from our Towards an Active Nation strategy.

Our remit has changed and we now work with children and young people aged five and upwards. This survey will provide the most detailed and reliable information on this age group yet.

World-leading approach

Active Lives Children and Young People provides a world-leading approach to gathering data on how children engage with sport and physical activity.

It gives anyone working with children aged 5-16 key insight to help understand children's attitudes and behaviours around sport and physical activity.

Our aim is for children and young people to feel more motivated, confident and able to get active

This new survey follows on from the Active Lives Adult Survey, which saw its first set of data published in January 2017.

The Active Lives Adult survey is a new way of measuring sport and activity across England. It looks into the sport and physical activity behaviours of people aged 16 and over.

How the survey works

Schoolchildren across England are asked to take part in the Active Lives Children and Young People survey, which sits at the heart of our vision.

We want everyone in England, regardless of their age, background and level of ability, to feel able to take part in sport and activity. Our aim is for children and young people to feel more motivated, confident and able to get active – which will also increase the likelihood of being active later in life.

Compiled on behalf of the Department for Education, the Department for Health and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the survey runs on an annual basis.

Each term, a number of schools are randomly selected to take part in the survey, with the aim of getting 100,000 children and young people in Years 1 to 11 to complete it each academic year.

Measuring activity

The survey covers measures of children’s activity levels, physical literacy, swimming proficiency, wellbeing, self-efficacy and levels of social trust.

With a sample of this size, we can produce some estimates down to local authority level. This means the results will shape and influence local decision-making as well as inform government policy on the Primary PE and Sports Premium, Childhood Obesity Plan and other cross-departmental programmes.

The survey went through two rounds of cognitive testing and a pilot study. It went live in September 2017, with the first set of data published in December 2018.

Further information