The Active Lives and Healthy Schools Rating Scheme


  • The Active Lives survey is co-ordinated by Sport England and provides a world-leading approach to gathering data on how young people engage with sport and physical activity.
  • It gives anyone working with children aged 5-16 key data to help understand their attitudes and behaviours around sport and activity.
  • Schools across England are invited to take part in this data collection programme on a termly basis with the focus being on the survey being completed by the students themselves. The idea is that their responses should inform the action taken at both a local and national level to enable all young people regardless of their age, background and level of ability to take part in and enjoy sport and physical activity.
A Visual View    At A Glance   

How does the survey work?

  • Each term schools are randomly selected by Sport England at a national level to take part in the Active Lives survey. Those schools that are selected to take part will be contacted by their local Active Partnership which in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is Living Sport.
  • It is estimated that schools are invited to participate in the survey every three to four years, although due to the random nature of the selection process this can happen more frequently. However, schools do not have to wait to be selected, they can contact their local Active Partnership to volunteer to take part*
  • One class in up to three different year groups are asked to fill out the questionnaires – this is, of course, dependent on the size of the school and a minimum of 30 questionnaires are required to be completed for each school in order for a report to be generated.
  • The student survey can be done at any point in the relevant term, depending on what works best for the school involved.
  • Each participating school will be provided with everything it needs including templates for letters to parents, information sheets for teachers and students and technical guidance from the local Active Partnership.

What does the survey involve?

  • The survey is designed to be simple and enjoyable for all students to complete and is tailored to different age groups.
  • The students can complete the survey on either desktop computers, laptops or tablets and it takes around 20 minutes to fill in. It is also requested that one teacher from each school completes a 10-minute survey to give some broader context to the pupils’ responses.
  • Each school that takes part receives a bespoke report summarising its own results from the survey responses.
  • In schools where it is requested that the youngest pupils in Years 1 and 2 complete the survey, the parents are also encouraged to fill out a questionnaire to give more information about their child’s physical activity behaviours. Some schools may, therefore, be asked to let parents know about this.

What are the benefits to schools?

  • Each school that takes part is given a bespoke report summarising its own results from the survey (if at least 30 students complete the questionnaire). This report covers measures of children’s activity levels, physical literacy, swimming proficiency, wellbeing, self-efficacy and levels of social trust.
  • The report provides staff with the evidence and insight into how their school is performing in terms of engaging its pupils in sport and physical activity. This report is not shared, published or used to compare schools, but is purely designed for the benefit of the individual school.
  • Participation in The Active Lives Survey provides access to The Healthy Schools Rating Scheme which comprises of an on-line teacher survey, this is based on four key areas of assessment: Food Education, School Food Standards, Physical Education and Active Travel. The responses given are calculated to determine a rating – bronze, silver, gold.
  • The rating, together with the Active Lives report, remains confidential to the school/DfE although schools can choose to notify Ofsted about the rating achieved and promote their participation in the scheme as evidence of their provision to pupils.
  • Ofsted inspectors may wish, where relevant, to consider participation in the combined scheme (The Active Live Survey + The Healthy Schools Rating) as evidence when reaching the judgement on “personal development.”
  • Completion of the combined Active Lives Survey and Healthy Schools Rating Scheme can be cross referenced to the nutrition and physical activity standards for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Healthy Schools award. This can help accelerate the school’s progress to achieving Healthy Schools status and being granted use of the local authority Healthy Schools logo. A plaque is also awarded in acknowledgement of the achievement and provides good evidence of the schools commitment to Health Education.
  • Additional incentives are provided but are subject to variation and the degree of involvement  of each school.

Find out more

For further information about taking part in the survey, please contact Living Sport* – the local Active Partnership: [email protected]

Local Support

Living Sport

The Daily Mile™ Target Audience: Primary Schools, SLT, PE Coordinators Delivery Method: The Daily Mile is delivered through the class teacher during curriculum time, taking 15mins to jog or run outside. Register for free with Intended Outcomes: Increased level of physical activity undertaken by all children through The Daily Mile, leading to increased fitness levels

Read More About Living Sport