The Active Lives Children and Young People survey 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 data to help understand children's attitudes and behaviours around sport and activity.
Schoolchildren across England are asked to take part in this survey, which sits at the heart of our vision – that everyone in England, regardless of their age, background and level of ability, should feel able to take part in sport and activity.
The survey was developed with the Department for Education (DfE), the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It'll provide us, government and other partners with a broad and deep understanding of activity levels and behaviours, to help shape future policy and investment decisions.
How does the survey work?
Schools are randomly sampled to take part on an annual basis and those selected will be contacted by their local Active Partnership, who are the first point of call for schools.
One class, in up to three different year groups, is asked to fill out the questionnaires.
We've designed the survey to be as easy for schools to administer as possible. The questionnaires can be completed on desktop computers, laptops or tablets and take around 20 minutes to complete.
The survey can be done at any point during the allocated term, depending on what works best for the school involved.
The data is collected and processed by Ipsos MORI.
What do the questionnaires involve?
The questionnaires have been designed to be simple and enjoyable for pupils to complete and are tailored to different age groups.
We also ask one teacher from each school to complete a 10-minute survey to give some broader context to the pupils’ responses.
In some schools, for the youngest pupils in Years 1 and 2, we're also asking parents to fill out a questionnaire, to give more information about their child's physical activity behaviours.
What are the benefits to schools?
Each school that takes part will receive a school report summarising their own results from the survey. This is subject to a certain threshold of valid responses being received.
The report covers measures of children's activity levels, physical literacy, swimming proficiency, wellbeing, self-efficacy and levels of social trust.
It gives schools evidence and insight into how they're performing in terms of engaging its pupils in sport and physical activity.
These reports aren't published, shared with anyone - bar the school itself - or used to compare schools. They're purely designed for the benefit of the individual school.
We also offer each participating school credits to the value of around £100, to spend on a range of sports, wellbeing and health eating equipment or materials, to thank them for their involvement in the study.
In schools where parents are asked to take part, we reward each parent response with an additional £10 worth of credits for the school to spend, so every response really does count.
As part of the school report, if the teacher survey is also completed, the school is assessed as part of the DfE's Healthy Schools Rating Scheme (HSRS), for a rating and certificate that can be displayed.