Councils ramp up the pace as Daily Mile reaches significant milestone

New analysis published today shows that every council in the country has a school participating in The Daily Mile.

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A new landmark in the Daily Mile scheme in England has been reached as Local Government Association (LGA) analysis published today shows that every council in the country has a school participating in The Daily Mile.

With the support of their local councils, Active Partnerships and Sport England, children in over 8,000 primary schools and early years settings in England are getting active for fifteen minutes a day. 

Over 40 per cent of primary schools in 152 council areas have signed up for The Daily Mile, marking a significant stride in promoting physical health and wellbeing among children.

The Daily Mile was started by former Head Teacher Elaine Wyllie MBE in 2012 and encourages children to run, wheel or walk for fifteen minutes. It gets children outside and active with their friends and teachers, refreshed for further learning. The Daily Mile is simple, free, fun and fits in the school day easily.

The LGA's analysis shows that:

  • Southend-on-Sea has the highest proportion of educational settings for 0-11 year olds signed up to The Daily Mile (97 per cent), followed by Southwark (90 per cent) and Tower Hamlets (81 per cent).
  • Essex has the highest number of settings participating in The Daily Mile (370), followed by Hertfordshire (326) and Kent (296). 
  • Over half of educational settings for children aged 0-11 are signed up in London (52.5 per cent), followed by the northwest (47.9 per cent) and the east of England (45.9 per cent)

Evidence has shown The Daily Mile has a positive impact on physical, mental, and social health of children as well as supporting improved focus in class.

Studies collected by the Office of Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) has found that participation in initiatives like The Daily Mile support positive classroom behaviour, improved self-esteem, and an increase in fitness levels among children.

In England, the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) has identified increasing numbers of overweight and obese children, particular in areas with higher levels of deprivation.

The Daily Mile provides  a practical example of where schools and local council public health teams can work together to help children get active and help improve their wellbeing.

Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board said:

“This new data shows that England is creating more opportunities for our children and young people to be active.

“Thanks to the support of councils, over 8000 primary schools and early years settings are participating in The Daily Mile, with schools from Cornwall up to Northumberland hosting the initiative.

“We know that The Daily Mile is a vitally important tool in tackling physical inactivity and obesity in our local communities.

“We want England to become a nation where more people are more active, more often. 

“The benefits of instilling these habits early are plain to see. Councils are committed to improving, supporting, and promoting the health and wellbeing of all our children and young people.”

Elaine Wyllie MBE, Founder of The Daily Mile said:

“I am very proud of what The Daily Mile has achieved since it was established in 2012 and I am excited about our future ambitions. We have had the pleasure of working with many schools, teachers, and likeminded partners such as the LGA, who have supported us in reaching 2 million children in England. 

“I have always believed The Daily Mile can have a positive and sustainable impact on our children’s health and wellbeing. There really has never been a more important time to work collectively to create opportunities for children to be more physically active, helping to improve physical, mental, and social health.”

Notes to editors

The full report has been compiled by the LGA’s data hosting platform, LG Inform, and can be found by visiting their website

The LGA visited Grange Park Primary School in Telford who have provided a Daily Mile Track to support their pupils to take part in the scheme. You can watch the full video and find out about the staff and pupils experiences of the scheme above.

This is the school’s particular approach to the Daily Mile. It is important to note that the Daily Mile does not require any specialist equipment.