Sport and Physical Activity

Sets out the requirements related to mandatory weekly participation in sport and physical activity for schools and their students. This includes identifying local procedures that support the planning and delivery of high-quality, safe sport and physical activity programs.

Changes since previous version

2021 Dec 10 - updated contact details in policy statement.

Document history

2019 Nov - updated contact details and made minor style and editing changes.

Policy and Guidelines name change.
Added requirement for schools to ensure each school has a school-developed sport and physical activity procedures document containing current organisation and management processes.
Increased time allocation from 120 minutes to 150 minutes of planned physical activity in K-10.
Sport and physical activity for Years 11 and 12 students now encouraged but not mandatory.
Requirement that the physical activity be moderate with some vigorous and spread across the school week.

Sport and Physical Activity has been part of the government school curriculum since the 1880's and various policies, curricula and resources have been developed to guide schools in this area.
During the mid-1980's and 1990's; the 1986 Sport Policy guided schools across this important area. In 1999, a hardcopy resource Guidelines for the Safe Conduct and Sport and Physical Activity in Schools was provided to schools to assist in their preparation and implementation of sport and physical activities. In 2002, this resource was converted into a digital format and provided online as the implementation document to the Sport and Physical Activity Safety Policy for Schools. In 2010, this implementation document was renamed Sport and Physical Activity in Schools Safe Conduct Guidelines to increase search engine capabilities

Superseded documents

2002 Sport and Physical Activity Safety Policy for Schools
1990 Supplement 1 to the Sport Policy
1988 Support Document to the Sport Policy
1986 Sport Policy

  1. Policy statement
    1. Student participation in planned physical activity includes time spent in physical education, sport and other structured physical activities.
    2. All principals, teachers and support staff in NSW public schools must comply with the requirements stated in the following documents unless exceptional circumstances:
    3. School-developed procedures for organising and managing sport and physical activity reflect current local information and circumstances. They are documented and communicated across the school community as appropriate.
    4. Students in Years K-10 participate in a minimum of 150 minutes of planned moderate activity with some vigorous physical activity across the school week. This time includes planned weekly sport. Schools are also encouraged to provide Years 11 and 12 students weekly access to a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate activity with some vigorous physical activity and sport.
  2. Audience and applicability
    1. This policy applies to all NSW public schools.
  3. Context
    1. This policy is informed by evidence based research, Australia's Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines and the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians.
    2. The policy is supported by the Sport Safety Guidelines. The guidelines:
      • address the supervision and welfare of students, equipment and venues, as well as specific safety conditions and procedures for an extensive range of sports and physical activities
      • include a list of banned activities
      • provide procedures for Principal Endorsed Activities that guide principals in approving a sport or physical activity that is not specifically covered elsewhere.
    3. The policy relates to the Excursions policy and the Working with Children Check policy.
  4. Responsibilities and delegations
    1. Principals:
      1. lead the development and implementation of a current and locally based sport and physical activity procedures document, which would include operational logistics, safe conduct procedures, resourcing implications, delivery and evaluation processes. Further information on the development of this procedures document is in the Sport Safety Guidelines.
      2. ensure that the school meets the mandatory weekly requirements for student participation in sport and physical activity
      3. ensure the safety conditions for specific activities in the Sport Safety Guidelines are adhered to, whether an activity is taken as part of school sport, physical education, school excursions, or any other occasion where sport and physical activity is planned
      4. review and approve any sport or physical activity that is not specifically covered in the Sport Safety Guidelines.
    2. Leader, School Sport Unit:
      1. provides advice on implementing the policy and development of support materials.
    3. Director, Arts, Sports and Initiatives:
      1. is responsible for the currency of the policy and oversight of support materials.
  5. Monitoring and review
    1. The Executive Director, Student Support and Specialist Programs monitors the implementation of this policy, regularly reviews its contents to ensure relevance and accuracy, and updates it as needed.
  6. Contact
    School Sports Policy Advisor
    02 9508 5541
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