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Ipswich schools urged to sign up to Daily Mile scheme

20/10/2016 Joanna

Primary schools across the Ipswich area are being encouraged to sign up to a scheme that aims to help pupils get active in order to improve their attainment levels and overall wellbeing.

The Ipswich Star has launched a campaign calling on all of the region's primary schools to take part in the Daily Mile, an initiative that sees students taken out of class to run, jog or walk for a mile each day.

Many schools in Ipswich have already implemented the scheme, which was developed by Scottish primary school headteacher Elaine Wyllie in 2012. It is organised according to a daily timetable, with children leaving the school for around 15 minutes at a pre-appointed time to get active for a short period in various weather conditions, before returning to their lessons.

This approach costs nothing and requires no special equipment, kit or even time to warm up and cool down. Schools that have employed the Daily Mile scheme have found that it has helped to improve children's focus, behaviour and attainment, while drastically cutting obesity levels and addressing mental health issues.

Since 2012, it has earned the support of the Scottish government, with hundreds of schools across the UK signing up to take part, while countries such as Holland and Belgium are now also showing interest in following suit.

Ms Wylie said her school's obesity levels have fallen to half that of the Scottish average since introducing the Daily Mile back in 2012.

Campaign supporter Gordon Jones, cabinet member for children's services at Suffolk County Council, said: "It is acknowledged that early fitness is influential to a child's capacity to learn and is linked to academic success, as this has been seen to improve levels of engagement with learning and concentration. We encourage all schools to take part in the initiative."

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