Laura Sharman 12 July 2017

School summer holidays creating 'class divide' over fitness levels

School summer holidays creating class divide over fitness levels image

The high cost of school holiday activities is opening up a ‘major class divide' in the fitness levels of children, new research has revealed.

The report from ukactive shows that the most deprived primary school children see their fitness levels drop 18 times greater than the richest children over school summer holidays.

The research – which tracked the cardiorespiratory fitness levels of more than 400 children in 13 schools – found the most deprived children were able to run far shorter distances in September than they could in June. Meanwhile, the fitness levels of the most affluent children only dipped slightly.

The researchers said the prohibitive cost of many school holiday activities were putting the poorest children at risk of deadly diseases later life. They said the government’s Sugar Tax should be used to help fund out-of-term exercise sessions.

Dr Steven Mann, ukactive research director and lead author, said: ‘There's a growing class divide around fitness levels due to the summer holidays and the government must urgently address these Victorian-style health inequalities to give every child a fair chance of a healthy start in life.

‘Our research with Premier Sport suggests deprived children are being plonked in front of screens for hours on end, while their more affluent peers are able to maintain their fitness levels through summer camps and other activities.

‘Money from the £415m Sugar Levy should be used beyond the school gates to plug these gaps in provision and ensure all children can access physical activity and pick up vital healthy habits from an early age.

Slavery in supply chains image

Slavery in supply chains

Tiffany Cloynes and Clare Hardy explore what responsibility councils may have in the future to eliminate slavery and human trafficking in their supply chains.
Open letter to Boris Johnson image

Open letter to Boris Johnson

The MJ's editor Heather Jameson asks the new PM a simple question: do you want to fund local government or do you want to scale back services to the basics?
Highways jobs

Senior Traffic Engineer

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
£32,029 - £34,788 per annum
Currently seeking an enthusiastic and experienced individual to manage our Traffic Team. East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Youth and Community Based Commissioner- Colchester and Tendring

Essex County Council
£18117 - £19106.0 per month
Annual Salary JNC SCP 3 - Unqualified £18,117JNC SCP 6 - Qualified £19,106 We are currently seeking a Youth and Community Based Commissioner to suppo England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Networks Technician

Essex County Council
£24001.0 - £28280 per annum
Technology Services is focused on ensuring current and future investment in technology to maximise the opportunities to support ECC from a technology England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Youth Worker x7

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£18,795 - £19,945 per annum
Looking for a Youth Worker who can meet the needs and aspirations of young people and deliver high quality Youth Work. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Customer Specialist

Essex County Council
£20001.0 - £22220.0 per annum
Essex County Council (ECC) are currently recruiting for a Customer specialist within the Technical Processing and Optimisation Team. The Team is respo England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine