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Children are being encouraged to take more exercise

Schools involved in a government scheme to provide health, fitness and social skills training are getting better at a faster rate than others, a study says.

Pupils covered by the Healthy Schools Programme in England saw results in national tests improve more rapidly, government-commissioned research shows.

The proportion of 11-year-olds passing English, maths and science rose by 3.04 percentage points from 2002 to 2004.

For those outside the scheme it was 2.91, the study of 2,314 schools says.

The National Healthy Schools Programme, for primary and secondary schools, covers such things as drugs education, emotional health, eating habits, exercise and sex and relationships education.

Of the schools studied, 1,200 - a little more than half - were not taking part.

The report's author, John Sinnott, found that the accelerated rate of progress for schools taking part in the NHSS programme was not universal.

For some local authorities, those not involved in the scheme were doing better.

The report, called Healthy Schools and Improvements in Standards, comes amid concern over the health of pupils.

Obesity rates are rising, with campaigners blaming poor diet and lack of exercise.

The local authorities studied were: Birmingham, Cambridge, Gloucestershire, Kent, Lambeth, Lancashire, Leeds, Newcastle, Nottinghamshire, Surrey, Tower Hamlets, Warwickshire, Bromley, Croydon, East Ridings and Sandwell.

 

Source: www.bbc.co.uk, Wednesday, 9 March 2005

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