Sport and education

We invest in universities, colleges, and schools across England to increase the number of students playing sport

30 June 2017

We carry out research to assess the impact of our investment and understand how students participate.

The tabs below outline the impact of some of our investments at each stage of the education path, and the insights we have gained from them.

Higher Education

Active Universities

Students are being encouraged to increase sports activity through 42 Active Universities projects, funded by Sport England. The first year of the projects was successful, with 99% of targets achieved.

Participation among students at the universities is high. A baseline survey found that two-thirds of students take part in sport, with about half of those doing so at least three times a week. However, the study found there was potential to increase participation further.

Read about Sport England work in Higher Education here

HE Sport Audit

Sport England worked with BUCS to encourage universities in England to complete an HE Sport audit in October 2012. There were responses from sixty-five universities, which has provided Sport England with information to help understand university sport and the HE sector better. 

More information about the audit, including the key findings, is located here

Further Education

Active Colleges

We are supporting and funding colleges to help more students get involved in sport and create a sporting habit. 

Active Colleges is a £25 million Lottery investment which has been ring-fenced to benefit students in further education colleges in England. The aim of Active Colleges is an increase in regular participation in sport (at least 30 minutes per week) by further education students in England.

The funding is deployed through two strands:

  • The College Sport Makers, who are full-time sports development professionals, working to link colleges with community sport opportunities
  • The FE activation fund, which supports revenue projects that are aimed at increasing FE students' participation. 

Find out more about our investment and read the Active Colleges survey report here


School Games

The School Games event is an exciting, fully inclusive competition for school children in England. Through the School Games we are motivating, enthusing and inspiring young people across the country to take part in more competitive school sport.

By providing competition in different formats it makes competition more attractive and accessible for young people, and ensures they can all take part in competitive sport irrespective of their experience, talent or ability.

Find out more information and read the Year 1 reports here.