Today marks the official release of the first UK-based whole-school physical activity framework – the Creating Active Schools (CAS) framework.
It was created to embed activity at the heart of a school’s ethos, and the collaborative and co-produced effort is evidenced in the prestigious International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity that has been published today (Friday 7 February).
It was developed by Dr Andy Daly-Smith from the Carnegie School of Sport at Leeds Beckett University, working in close partnership with Yorkshire Sport Foundation and Public Health England (Yorkshire and Humber).
In July 2019, the Creating Active Schools conference brought together the expertise of 50 regional, national and international stakeholders who understand the many components of school-based physical activity. They included teachers and headteachers from across South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.
It also includes 18 UK and international experts in school-based physical activity from Leeds Beckett University, Yorkshire Sport Foundation, Public Health England (Yorkshire and Humber), University of Texas, The Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam UMC, Loughborough University, University of Leicester, Bradford Institute for Health Research, University of Leeds, University of Cambridge and Edge Hill University.
Dr Andy Daly-Smith commented: “This is the first UK-based whole-school physical activity framework. In addition, it is the first framework in the world that has been co-produced from initial conception by practitioners, policymakers and researchers who understand the many components of school-based physical activity and behavioural science.
“We are working with local authorities and schools in multiple regions across the UK to operationalise the framework.”
Dan Wilson, Director of Development at Yorkshire Sport Foundation, said: “For the first time, we have a map that will support schools to create systems change for physical activity. This is a very exciting development in the field of school-based physical activity.
“We have already received great interest from across the UK on the work that the three organisations are doing to drive whole-school physical activity change using the Creating Active Schools Framework.”
Reinforcing the importance of the CAS and the ethos which shaped its development, Nicola Corrigan, Physical Activity and Obesity lead for Public Health England (Yorkshire and Humber) added: “It can be used to shape future policy, research and practice, as well as help to embed sustainable physical activity interventions.
“CAS presents a fundamental change in approach, providing guidance for future co-production physical activity initiatives where the approach is delivered ‘with’ schools, rather than implementing interventions ‘onto’ schools.
The framework is currently being used to support systems change as part of JU:MP, the Sport England local delivery pilot in Bradford. The framework has also been presented to the Department for Education, and at the recent Qatar-UK Sport and Education Conference, organised by the British Council and Ministry of Education in Qatar.
The project team are currently seeking funding to support the development of a range of free-to-access training workshops. The workshops will enable all schools within the UK and beyond to create systems change for physical activity, meaning that every child has an equal opportunity to participate in physical activity throughout the school day.
For more details on the Creating Active Schools framework, click HERE.