“ I love the Daily Mile because it helps my brain grow" year 3 pupil Northumberland
“I enjoy it because it makes me fitter and faster and now I am in the football squad. I also like it because it helps me concentrate and gives me a break” -
Year 4 pupil, whose asthma has dramatical improved since doing the Daily Mile at school who now hardly uses their inhaler. A respiratory specialist said this is likely due to the regular exercise which has helped improved their lung and muscular function.
A recent report detailing the learnings on the use of the Daily Mile in eleven Active Partnerships areas over the last two years has been published and details how the initiative has had numerous benefits in supporting schools incorporate physical activity into their school day, helping improve the wellbeing of young people as well as wider benefits of working with partners to tackle the inequalities that some young people face in their local areas.
The Daily Mile is a free, inclusive and social form of physical activity and is not a replacement for curriculum PE or play/lunchtime. Children of all abilities and ages are encouraged to run or jog at their own pace, for 15 minutes in the fresh air with their friends at primary/ junior school. It’s designed to be improve their physical, social and emotional and mental health in a non-competitive fun setting and can be the first step on a child’s journey to leading an active lifestyle.
In 2019 Sport England investment enabled eleven local Daily Mile coordinators based in Active Partnerships to be funded for two years along with a national coordinator who worked with these Partnerships, Sport England and the DailyMile Foundation. The aim was to increase the number of schools signing up to the Daily Mile and facilitate the sharing and learning across the network.
- Over the two years over 1431 schools got involved in the Daily Mile
- The number of schools using it in lessons doubled from 36% after 3 months to 85% after 12 months.
- Over half the schools (52%) reported all year groups participated, twice the number from 3 months
There were a number of key learnings from the project which demonstrated how the initiative had wider benefits in helping schools support their pupils to become more active and Active Partnerships are using these to support schools in the new school year as part of their wider children and young people work.
The work over the past 2 years has had a wide range of benefits including;
- Helping create better connections with schools that are less engaged and building relationships. The Daily Mile has acted as a hook to help the school start its journey to becoming an active school, this has been helped by the initiative being free, non-competitive, low on staff administration, resources and campaign based.
- Building stronger relationships with schools has helped form a better understanding of their needs and this intelligence has been used to understand how they could be supported and improve other projects.
- Getting to know the schools and building trusted relationships helped identify children and families who need the most help allowing Active Partnerships to target specific areas.
- The schools involved often started with something like the Daily Mile and with support of trusted partners like the Active Partnerships, began to sow the seeds for their pupils to live well rounded active lifestyles.
Having a strong relationship with schools, stakeholders and multiple organisations with links to schools (Healthy Schools, Essex Family and Wellbeing Service, North East London NHS Foundation, etc.) pushes the message of physical activity from not only me, but others. Each sharing the same value that the Daily Mile adheres to. (Active Essex)
“The relationship and networks that have been built as a result of The Daily Mile project have opened up doors to the CYP team to work alongside schools and partners and create a connection, whereby schools in need of support can approach our team - and have the confidence that we have the knowledge, capacity and resources to assist them.” (MSP, Merseyside)
“The Daily Mile can often be a foot in the door” to schools, which can then open up discussions around wider CYP offers. It allows the Active Partnership an insight into the good practice taking place in our schools and across our region, which has led to case studies and PE leads to present at PE conferences and other events to support schools across the country” (Yorkshire Sport )
“A phrase we often hear in schools that have embedded physical activity into their daily routine is, ‘It is a part of our school’s culture’. This speaks volumes about the attitude towards physical activity and the importance that is placed on it and reflects a very positive shift within parts of the education sector.” (Active Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire)
The report The eleven Active Partnerships involved were.
Yorkshire Sport, Kent Sport, Active Essex, Active Gloucestershire, Sport Birmingham, Rise, Wesport, London Sport, MSP, Greater Sport
The full evaluation report can be accessed here