Opening School Facilities in Calderdale

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Access for all

As part of the Department for Education’s Opening School Facilities programme, Active Calderdale will be supporting schools in our area to bid for funding which will enable them to open their sports facilities to the wider community in the evenings and during weekends and school holidays. The aim is to help schools to open their existing sports facilities to a broader range of young people and to support the wider community by partnering with sporting organisations, who can help deliver activities in these settings.

The three-year investment will ensure that local solutions are sought collaboratively that identify long-term changes in behaviour, leading to more people being active in areas that need it the most. All nine regions of England will benefit from this programme, led by the national network of Active Partnerships and supported by ukactive, StreetGames and the Youth Sport Trust.

Creating New Opportunities

Active Calderdale will work with schools to enable them to deliver new or enhanced activities that will increase the range of face-to-face opportunities for pupils, and their families, incorporating making schools aware of further opportunities to open their sports facilities sustainably beyond the end of participation in the programme. A similar programme was delivered in 2021 which has seen a variety of new offers delivered in Calderdale’s schools including family fitness, mums’ and daughters’ boxercise and yoga, community football, and table tennis for children with additional needs.

We know there are clear health inequalities, in relation to physical inactivity, therefore the opening schools’ facilities intervention must promote physical activity to residents who find it challenging to access opportunities and achieve the daily recommended levels of physical activity. The programme will target support to schools with a high percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals, from low affluent families, women and girls, culturally diverse groups, and pupils with SEND.

An Invitation to bid

All schools throughout the borough, primary and secondary, have been invited to submit expressions of interest stating which facilities they would like to make available, what the activity offer will be and specifying target user groups. A steering group has been formed consisting of Council staff from Leisure, Education, Public Health, and Healthy Holidays alongside representatives from Yorkshire Sport Foundation. Led by Active Calderdale, the group will oversee the bid process and support schools to make robust project proposals designed to benefit the school and the wider community. Using an impartial scrutiny procedure, successful bids will be forwarded to Yorkshire Sport Foundation who are responsible for delivering the programme and distributing the funding in West and South Yorkshire.

Running to March 2025 with schools eligible to bid at various points throughout the three-year cycle, and with an emphasis on sustainability, it is hoped that this will enable more people to access facilities and join newly created activities throughout our borough.

Further information for schools can be found here: