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Opening School Facilities Project

COVID-19 Update

In light of the ongoing situation around the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing Government measures to contain it, County Durham Sport and North Yorkshire Sport are confirming our position regarding the work on the Opening School Facilities Project. We appreciate that this is an extremely challenging time for schools, and that you may need advice and support across a whole range of sport and physical activity related issues. Whilst the Opening School Facilities project is continuing, we know that we will have to do things differently, particularly with those schools we are engaged in ‘deep dive’ work with.

Those schools we are looking to support through more in depth engagement will have already had some communication from us on the next steps. We do not want to add any additional pressure to what are already challenging circumstances for schools however, if you want to discuss this work further, and consider whether there are things we can be progressing together during the schools period of closure then please contact Lynne (details below).

We are currently working on a second survey specifically for deep dive schools, and we will send this out to you at some point after the Easter period. If you are a school that hasn’t yet completed the initial survey you may still access it below.

If you haven’t heard from us, but would like to be considered for a deep dive, then please do get in touch.

Finally, if there is anything at all that you think we may be able to help with, or advise you on, again please get in touch and we will be able to point you to the appropriate member of our teams.

About the Project

County Durham Sport and North Yorkshire 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 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.

Please follow this link to complete the survey.

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.

Please click here to access the resource.

Contact Us

If you are interested in finding out more about this work please contact: