‘Horrific’ impact of third lockdown on schoolchildren’s physical and mental health revealed

Andy Pope, who oversaw the survey, said that there had been an extraordinary response from schools. “With over 2,600 schools responding in one week, SAM has a robust set of data to work with partners in targeting the most important areas of recovery,” he said.

“They have had the feedback instantly, and are therefore in a great position to work with schools to ensure the maximum impact during this term.”

The national school sports week will be held from June 19 and a new Active Recovery Hub was launched last month by the Youth Sports Trust and Sport England, which is designed to help children meet the daily recommended minimum activity time of 60 minutes.

“The stark picture painted by this research reinforces the huge toll the pandemic has taken on young people’s wellbeing and why a focus on sport and activity needs to be an essential part of their recovery,” said Ali Oliver, the chief executive of the Youth Sports Trust.

“Many schools are doing an incredible job harnessing the benefits of an active recovery, building up to this year’s national school sport week. However, the focus on young people’s recovery will extend long beyond this term and it is therefore vital that schools have the certainty they need around funding to plan for next year.

“In the longer term, we really want to see a joined-up national strategy for our young people to be the happiest and most active in the world.”

The survey follows new data from Swim England which shows that two million children have missed out on swimming over the past year and how 250,000 more children will be unable to swim 25 metres unaided.