Opening School Facilities Project
North Yorkshire Sport and County Durham Sport, working collaboratively, are one of 19 pilot projects commissioned by Sport England to deliver the Opening Schools Facilities project, outlined in the Government's School Sport and Activity Action Plan July 2019.
The work is part of a national drive to encourage young people to take part in 60 minutes of physical activity per day across the week. The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson recently announced total funding worth £2.4 million for better sports activities and teaching, including for schools in the 19 pilot areas areas across England to collaborate with sports organisations to increase the opportunities to use school sports facilities outside the school day.
The initial focus of this work is to gather intelligence on the facilities available in secondary schools and how they are used by the school and local community as well as identifying good practice which can be shared locally and nationally. We are extending the scope of the work to include primary schools across both Counties, where we feel there are opportunities to help schools to open up their facilities to the community for Sport and Physical activity. We would also like to better understand the barriers that Primary schools face in doing this.
The project has started by gathering desk research across both areas from a range of sources and asking secondary schools to complete a brief survey to gather more on what facilities are in place, how they are open and where schools feel there are opportunities to increase this usage.
We will be identifying focus schools to do a 'deep dive' so we can get into the challenges and opportunities that exist in this work as well as highlight schools with a varied and sporting offer and how this is happening, finding out what is working well for school across the network and trying to better understand some of the challenges school face in opening up their facilities to community use and helping to broaden the offer of sport and physical activity in their communities.
Opening School Facilities Survey
We would like as many schools as possible, across North Yorkshire and County Durham, to complete the Opening School Facilities Survey. The survey, which should take no more than 10 minutes to complete, is helping us to build a detailed picture about the facilities available for community use. It is also helping us to understand more about the condition of the facility stock in our schools, and the type of groups and organisations accessing the facilities.
Primary, Secondary and Independent schools are all welcome to complete the survey, as are FE Colleges.
Use Our School Resource
Use Our School is a Sport England resource which supports schools in opening their facilities to the community and keeping them open.
It provides tried and tested solutions, real life practice, tips from people making it happen, and a range of downloadable resources, including making a case for community use, the legal and financial implications and inspiring case studies.
If you are interested in finding out more about this work please contact:
- Lynne Wightman – who is predominantly covering the County Durham patch (Lynne@northyorkshiresport.co.uk)
- Faye Pashby – who is predominantly covering the North Yorkshire & York patch (Faye@northyorkshiresport.co.uk)