The First PE and Active Schools Network Meeting

On the 4th of November, over 30 colleagues from schools across Doncaster joined the first Active Schools Network meeting.

The network pulled together leaders of physical education in primary schools along with local partners to look at ways we can help young people make positive changes to their physical activity levels and general wellbeing as well as promote strategies to enhance academic attainment through physical activity.

Active Fusion Head of Operations, Jonny Allan said:

“We would love to help create an Active, Team Doncaster, a movement where schools and other community partners work together to provide access to physical activity and health and wellbeing and to enable academic attainment and social mobility for all”

The network will look at ways of providing training for school staff to ensure that young people have more opportunities to be physically active during the school day both in and out of core curriculum time and also look at how young people can be encouraged to be physically active in their own time.

The group spoke at length about the great work they are already doing in schools such as:

Active Maths and English, using expert coaches, developing Active Playgrounds and playground leader’s schemes, Forest schools, Cycling initiatives & active travel, Daily Mile, and many more.

However, they also highlighted areas for development:

Reduction in time, Unskilled, demotivated or unconfident staff, Interventions such as daily mile losing their spark, pressure from above to ensure that core curriculum is delivered and children are caught up following the pandemic, Not enough space, poor facilities, not enough equipment.

Our message:

We want to focus on the known benefits of physical activity such as improved behaviour, mood, attention, alertness, and improved academic attainment, without ignoring the above.

Examples of what could be done and how the impact could be measured:

By employing a Playleader for break and lunchtimes, we reduced incidents of behaviour in the yard at lunch by xx%

This led to classes being energised and ready for afternoon learning and an increase in quality teaching time of xx minutes and increased attainment levels in some of our hardest to reach pupils.

Why is this important?

In the Kabocca survey, which was undertaken nationally, 45 Doncaster schools responded in April 2021 with teachers identifying:

  • 71% of children have increased in weight over the last year
  • 62% felt children’s fundamental movement skills were worse than before March 2020
  • 84% felt that children’s fitness had become worse

Additionally, it has been widely studied and reported that children’s mental health is at its lowest ever level with as many as 1 in 6, 516-year-olds, reporting that they have been affected mentally by the pandemic and various lockdowns since March 2020.

The Network will share good practices locally and provide colleagues with national updates, opportunities for CPD as well as ideas that may help to aid the recovery from the pandemic.


Other topics discussed to help support schools and the delivery of their sports:

What the Sports Premium Grant should be used for and what has changed:

Updated Sports Premium Guidance:

Contains links to all national bodies with guides on how to spend and reports on your allocation and underspend for the past 2 years.


Add capacity to your staff team to deliver more physical activity and support interventions across the curriculum:

Kickstart Work Placement scheme extended:

Contact Doncaster Chamber.

£1,500 incentive per placement

Apprentice Incentive extended:

Contact Active Fusion subcontracted by Doncaster College to deliver L2 & L3 apprenticeships in PE, Sport, and Community health.

£3,000 incentive per apprentice plus and additional £1,000 if aged 16-18


Future networks and CPD available:

February 3rd, 2022: Active Schools Network meeting 2, Rosedale Primary School

February 25th, 2022: Doncaster PE conference, venue TBC

TBC: England Athletics (Run, Jump, Throw)

TBC: Lawn Tennis Association

TBC: Football Association, Disney Shooting Stars Programme

TBC Yoginis Teacher Training (Yoga)

TBC: England Rounders (resources available if we complete a short survey for them)