What is the Active Lives Survey for Children and Young People?

The Active Lives Survey for Children and Young People provides a world-leading approach to gathering data on how children engage with sport and physical activity. It’s designed to give anyone working with children aged 5-16 key insight to help understand children’s attitudes and behaviours around sport and physical activity.

Developed by Sport England in partnership with the Department for Education, Department of Health and Department Culture, Media and Sport. The data analysis is conducted by Ipsos MORI, global market and opinion research specialists. The questionnaires are designed to be simple and enjoyable for pupils to complete and are tailored to different age groups. For primary schools, the information may be used by Government departments to influence and sustain future PE and School Sport Premium funding.

Each term schools will be randomly selected to take part, with the aim of getting 100,000 children and young people in Years 1 to 11 from across the country to complete it each academic year.

Why should my school take part in the survey?

Benefits and incentives for taking part:

  • Schools will be able to pick sports equipment worth approximately £100 in value from a catalogue that will be sent to schools.
  • After completing the survey participating schools will receive a bespoke report from Sport England which will enable them to better understand pupils’:
    • activity levels
    • physical literacy
    • swimming proficiency
    • wellbeing
    • self-efficacy
    • levels of social trust.
  • Your school report will provide evidence and insight that will help to:

    • Support Ofsted inspections.
    • Provide pupil voice to inform heads of PE, PE leads and senior leaders on raising the quality and quantity of curriculum and school sport delivery.
    • For primary schools, it will help to plan and target PE premium funding.
    • Your school report will not be published or used to compare schools, but is designed for the benefit of the individual school.
Catalogue of equipment

Administering the survey

  • The surveys are web-based and can be completed on desktop computers, laptops or tablets and take around 30 minutes to fill in.
  • Links will be sent to participating schools once they have agreed to take part.
  • Three year groups are randomly selected by Ipsos MORI to take part.
  • Only one class per year group will need to complete the survey. If there is more than one class in a year group there is a simple process to select which will take part. MSP will provide details on this methodology.
  • For secondary schools, there are two different surveys:
    • Pupils survey, years 7 to 11
    • Teachers survey (one teacher per school. In most cases a teacher involved in PE will be best placed to complete the survey but this is flexible)
  • For primary schools, there are four surveys
    • Pupils survey, Year 1-2
    • Pupils survey, Year 3-6
    • Teachers survey (one teacher per school, in most cases a teacher involved in PE will be best placed to complete the survey but this is flexible)
    • Parents survey (only when a year 1 or 2 class is selected)

Support from MSP

We will provide you with the following support to help you complete the surveys:

  • Supply letter templates for parents.
  • Provide details on the class selection methodology.
  • Provide guides to help teachers administer the survey.
  • Share good practise.
  • Answer any questions related to the survey.

How to get involved

MSP will contact you when your school has been selected to take part via a letter and an email.  You can also click the button below to see if your school has been randomly selected during the current term.


List of schools January - Mar 2020

Further information

For further information visit the Sport England Active Lives Children and Young People Survey page.

You can also get in touch with Jennie Platt (Sport and Physical Activity Office) on 0151 728 1814, 07739254833 or using the contact form below:

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