Active Lives Children and Young People Survey

1. What is The Active Lives Children and Young People Survey?

The Active Lives Survey: Children and Young People provides a world-leading approach to gathering data on how children engage with sport and physical activity.

Designed by Sport England, the Department for Education (DfE), the Department for Health (DfH), and the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), its purpose is to gain a detailed insight into the current physical activity habits of the nation's children and young people (5 to 16).

The survey is school-based and covers measures of children's:

  • Activity levels
  • Physical literacy
  • Swimming proficiency
  • Well-being
  • Self-efficacy
  • Levels of social trust.

2. What are the benefits of my school completing the survey?

All randomly selected schools will receive the following:

• A confidential, bespoke school report from Sport England about their pupils
• Credits to exchange for sports equipment
• A Healthy Schools Rating from the Department of Education.

One survey takes 15 minutes to answer on-line, the results of which will influence local decision-making and inform government policy.

Non-selected schools can also 'opt in' to participate in the survey. For details on how to opt in to the survey, pease contact Annie Hargreaves.

3. How do I complete the survey?

Schools are randomly selected and invited to participate by Sport England, you can see the latest list of selected Dorset schools below. Typically, a school will be invited to survey three individual classes in the school, and one teacher. Schools have an option to 'top up' their classes, to include all young people in their school, if desired.

Sport England has created two guides to help you complete the survey. They will help you to understand what the Survey is, how you take part and the incentives for doing so. They also contain links to key documents such as pupil information sheets and privacy notices. One guide is for Years 1-6, and the other is for Years 7-11. Middle and all-through schools may need to view both guides, depending on the year groups sampled.

Active Lives Survey Data

Enquiries & Support

If you have any enquires or need any additional support, please contact Annie Hargreaves:

Annie Hargreaves

Active Dorset

01202 539380
07769 555076


When will schools receive their school report?

School reports will be sent out (by Ipsos MORI) direct to the school the term following completion of the survey, just before half term. Sport England will send out small school reports directly to schools, the term after completion of the survey.

What if our school has a technical issue that we cannot resolve?

School staff, parents and pupils can contact Ipsos MORI's free technical helpline by leaving a message detailing their query. Call 0800 014 9452 or email

If our school is listed in the reserve sample, can we take part in the Survey?

Yes. Reserve schools can ask Active Dorset if they can join the main sample. Active Dorset will make a request to Sport England, and inform the school of their response.

Do teachers and parents complete a survey too?

Yes. One teacher completes one survey for the school and parents/carers of Key Stage 1 children answer the 'attitudinal questions' about their child's participation in physical activity. No other parents/carers are required to answer the survey.

How do you take the survey, and how long does it take?

All surveys can be completed on a laptop, desktop computer, smartphone or tablet that has access to the internet. All surveys take 15-20 minutes to complete. Pupil surveys can be completed during the school day or at home, in one sitting only. If teachers are unable to complete the teacher survey in one sitting, their answers will be saved until the next time they log in.

What incentives are there for a school to complete the survey?

All sampled schools are eligible for two types of incentive. These are:

  1. A confidential, bespoke school report which may include a Healthy Schools Rating Award (HSRA) from the Department of Education.
  2. Credits worth £100+ to exchange for activity/sports equipment.

Schools that 'opt-in' to the survey are only eligible for the bespoke school report and HSRA.

How do we select which class in a year group completes the survey?

Sport England recommends that all classes in a selected year group should be listed in alphabetical order based on teacher surname, class name or an equivalent. The last class in this list is the class who should complete the survey. Classes should be mixed ability and where applicable, mixed gender.

Can a school sample more than the classes selected for the survey?

Yes. Schools can invite year groups, key stages or the whole school to participate. Schools simply need to inform Active Dorset, who will ask Sport England to provide additional URLs for the school.

How many classes need to complete the Survey?

Children from up to three classes are invited to take part in the survey.

Is there a deadline for schools to claim their equipment incentives by?

Yes, schools will need to return their order form for their chosen item(s) to ESPO by:

  • Summer term 2021 schools: 21st October 2022
  • Autumn term 2021 schools: 28th February 2023
  • Spring term 2022 schools: 31st May 2023
  • Summer term 2022 schools: 20th October 2023
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