Rebecca Evans Minister for Social Services and Public Health
The Daily Mile is an innovative yet simple school-based initiative which encourages primary school children to walk, jog or run a mile a day. It is inclusive, non competitive and fun, and is adaptable to suit the needs of all primary schools.
Increasing opportunities for physical activity within the primary school environment is key to ensuring all children achieve the recommended 60 minutes a day of physical activity, as recommended by the Chief Medical Officer. The Daily Mile can play an important part in that.
The Daily Mile has the potential for numerous benefits beyond improved fitness, including improved attention and readiness to learn. It can help children become more engaged with the outdoors, build self-esteem and confidence, and help develop teamworking skills. We know that a number of schools across Wales have already adopted the Daily Mile, and we have had enthusiastic feedback from pupils, parents and teaching staff about the many benefits that it brings.
We have issued a joint letter to all head teachers in primary schools in Wales to encourage them to consider simple and innovative approaches to improve the health and wellbeing of children during the school day – including adopting the Daily Mile initiative, if they have not already.
The Daily Mile builds upon our existing collaborative working to improve the health and well-being of children, for instance through the Welsh Network of Health Schools Scheme and the Physical Literacy Programme for Schools. Indeed, the Daily Mile will contribute to schools achieving a number of the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes National Quality Award criteria.
Engaging with the Daily Mile, will support primary schools in ensuring the wellbeing of their pupils, and in working towards the implementation of the new curriculum – with action to increase physical activity embedded in the programme.
We are grateful to the Daily Mile Foundation for sharing their resources with us. We are making the information and advice available in English and Welsh to schools on a website. We will be monitoring sign up to the Daily Mile through the participation map on the website, and will be encouraging schools to share examples of similar, innovative solutions that they have introduced to increase physical activity during the school day.