The latest School Sport Survey of nearly 22,000 maintained schools found that 86 per cent of pupils take part in at least two hours of PE and school sport every week. Haters of gruelling sports such as cross-country were cheered by the revelation that the variety of non-traditional sports offered in schools has risen. Golf, canoeing, cycling and archery have all enjoyed a boom in the past year.
The survey also found pupils at girls-only schools did not enjoy the same level of activity, with only 65 per cent doing two hours a week.
Participation drops in all schools during the final years. Only 63 per cent of Year 11s and 67 per cent of Year 10s took part in two hours a week.
Schools in the sports partnership at Torbay in Devon, including Paignton Community Sports College (above) have managed to stop girls giving up on sport by running a "body management course" that covers fencing and scuba diving as well as sports bras and haircare.
Sports partnership development manager Tony Callcut said: "We now have girls who carry on the activities outside school, which shows how successful it has been."