Matt Rodda Member of Parliament for Reading East
Matt Rodda MP visited Micklands Primary School off the Henley Road on Friday, to support their participation in the nationwide Daily Mile scheme.
Micklands Primary is one of over 6,000 schools signed up to the Daily Mile nationally. The Daily Mile is a commitment schools make to take children out of the classroom for fifteen minutes per day. During that time, the children walk, jog, or skip round the school grounds to cover a mile’s distance. Every child in the school (from the youngest, aged four years old, to the eldest, aged eleven) takes part – as do all the teachers.
Matt was delighted to hear from Mark Frost, Micklands Headteacher, that the Daily Mile was a ‘really positive experience for everyone both mentally and physically’. Matt also heard that since introducing the Daily Mile three years ago, children are more focussed in classes, show higher levels of mental health and wellbeing, and enjoy better social interactions across the school.
Matt said: “With children’s mental health a major concern across the UK, it’s great to see schools investing classroom time in activities that nurture the whole child – rather than purely focussing on exam outcomes.”
“Currently, less than 1% of the NHS budget goes to children’s mental health. Even within the total mental health budget, children’s mental health services only receive 8%. This is despite half of all mental health conditions beginning before the age of 14. It’s really important that we promote schemes that address mental health issues early.”
“The Daily Mile is also great for teachers, offering a break from the pressures of the classroom. With Government per pupil spending having fallen by 6.5% in real terms since 2010, I am worried about the pressures that schools face today. Schools participating in the Daily Mile are finding innovative ways to relieve the challenges teachers face. But what we really need is a properly funded education system that takes care of our children and delivers for their future.”