The Provision of Active After-School Clubs for Children in English Primary Schools: Implications for Increasing Children’s Physical Activity


Introduction: The transition from primary to secondary school is a period when physical activity (PA) declines. Interventions delivered during curriculum time have had limited impact on PA. The after-school period may offer a valuable opportunity to increase children’s PA. In order to identify how best to implement after-school PA interventions for older primary school children, more information regarding the provision of after-school clubs is required. This paper examined the current after-school club provision of English primary schools. Methods: All state-funded primary schools in England (n = 15,307) were sent an online questionnaire in two phases during 2013. Schools were asked about the active and non-active after-school clubs on offer to year 5 and year 6 pupils and the days on which they run, the number of children attending each after-school club, who funds the club and who leads the club. Results: Responding schools (501) were reasonably representative of the national profile. Of the 2413 clubs reported, more non-active than active clubs (5.3 vs. 4.8 per school) were described. Football was the most frequently reported activity (offered by 79.5% of schools), with netball and dance being offered by 45.3% and 44.1% of schools, respectively. A high proportion of clubs was funded by schools or parents (88.6%) and more than 40% were led by external parties. Conclusions: A number of PA programmes are provided after-school but current provision is dominated by team sports and thus, there is a need for non-sport specific PA clubs. Furthermore, there is a need to find cost-effective methods of delivering after-school PA programmes.

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Davies, B. , Wood, L. , Banfield, K. , Edwards, M. and Jago, R. (2014) The Provision of Active After-School Clubs for Children in English Primary Schools: Implications for Increasing Children’s Physical Activity. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 4, 598-605. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2014.47069.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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