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School perspectives on school sport and recreation

School perspectives on school sport and recreation

05 June 2014

Insights from the 2011 Young People's Survey into sport and active recreation in schools.

The 2011 Young People's Survey is the most significant piece of research into young New Zealanders' participation in sport and recreation.

Basing the survey in schools allowed us to question staff about sport and recreation in their schools, find out what more can be done to support schools and teachers, and to link schools to community sport and recreation organisations.

Young People's Survey - Staff Survey Results (Sport and Recreation Knowledge Library)


While the results are not representative of all schools, the provides useful and new insights into sport and active recreation in schools.

  • Extra-curricular sport is considered either "fairly" or "very important" to the ethos of the majority of schools.
  • Many individuals and organisations help schools provide sport and active recreation. In junior schools, help comes from both internal (eg, sports coordinators, student leaders/volunteers) and external sources (eg, sport development officers, sports clubs); while in middle/senior schools help comes mostly from internal sources (eg, sports coordinators, student volunteer/leaders and specialist PE staff).
  • Schools have a lot of links to sports clubs, although these links appear to be both formal and informal.
  • There is considerable variation in the provision of outdoor recreation across the student year-levels.
  • Many staff at both junior and middle/senior schools would like to offer one or more sport and recreation activities that they don't currently offer to their students. A broad range of activities is reported.
  • The availability and quality of a range of onsite and offsite sports facilities varies considerably, and typically varies between junior and middle/senior schools.
  • Challenges for junior schools can include their geographic location in relation to facilities and small school rolls. For middle/senior schools, often based in areas with larger populations, however, the challenges can include a lack of qualified and experienced coaches/managers and limited/poor facilities.


Survey results are not reported by school sample characteristics (ie, location, decile rating and school size) due to the survey method, however some patterns are evident.

  • School ethos – Staff from both junior and middle/senior low-decile (1-3) schools were less likely than all staff to say that extra-curricular sport was "very important" to school ethos.
  • Help to provide school sport and recreation – Larger junior schools and middle/senior schools, compared with all schools, are more likely to have help from a greater number of individuals/organisations. This includes internal help from specialist PE staff, support staff and student volunteers. Both junior and middle/senior schools in Auckland are less likely to receive help from sport development officers.
  • School-club links – Both junior and middle/senior schools in Auckland are less likely than other schools to have a large number of links to clubs.
  • Provision of outdoor recreation – Year 1-4 students in Auckland and/or those attending schools with 300 plus students are more likely than all students of this not to be offered any outdoor recreation activities.
  • Availability of onsite facilities – There is a lot of variation across the three school characteristics. However, in both junior and middle/senior schools the link to school size is most common, with larger schools most likely to have facilities and small schools less likely. This is followed by location, with Auckland schools most likely to report lower availability of onsite facilities.
  • Availability of offsite facilities – Fewer differences exist than for onsite availability. However, for some facilities, lower availability can be linked to location (typically Auckland) and school decile (low decile).


Young People's Survey (2011)

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