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Opening Schools Facilities Funding

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Active Calderdale are delighted to announce that the latest round of Opening School Facilities funding is now open for the period April 2023 to March 2025.

Primary and secondary schools in Calderdale are eligible to bid for funds to enable use of their facilities to deliver a range of activities in the evenings and during weekends and school holidays.

Further funding is available over a total 3-year period which will be delivered in subsequent rounds, but to be eligible for this schools must apply in this first round of applications.

Target User groups

  • Pupils on Free School Meals
  • Pupils from low Socio-economic backgrounds
  • Women and girls
  • Culturally diverse groups
  • Pupils with SEND


Emails explaining the programme and including the form for Expressions of Interest have been sent to all schools. The forms for the Expressions of Interest can also be accessed via the tab below.

Expressions of Interests to be submitted no later than 5pm, Monday 27th February 2023

Once expressions of interest have been received, schools will be contacted, and eligible proposals will be supported to apply for the OSF fund via the local Active Partnership. The application documents can be accessed via the tabs below.

The deadline for this application to be with Active Calderdale is 5pm, Wednesday 15th March 2023.

Application Documents are split into 2 parts:

  • School Information and Current Offer
  • School Project Delivery Plan - Year 1

Schools must complete both sections

Support will be given throughout the process and overseen by a Steering Group and Selection Panel made up of representatives from Active Calderdale, Yorkshire Sport Foundation, Public Health, Leisure, Disability Sport and School Games.

For further information see the section below or for an informal discussion please contact Rebecca Antcliffe;

Further Information & Support

Programme Aims

Opening Schools Facilities (OSF) is a DfE school funding programme to meet the goals of the Government’s School Sport and Activity Action Plan (SSAAP). The aim is to help schools to open their existing sport facilities, including school swimming pools, for 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.

  • Three-year investment
  • Led by a national network of Active Partnerships
  • All nine regions of England will benefit from this programme.
  • OSF funding 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.
Programme Objectives
  • To support schools to open their facilities outside of the normal school day (evenings, weekends, and holidays) to allow children & young people and the wider community to access more opportunities to be physically active.
  • To open school swimming pools focusing on swimming and water safety lessons both during and outside the school day for pupils at their school and for pupils at other local schools.
  • Participants are provided with a range of stimulating and enjoyable opportunities to take part in physical activity and sport, in addition to that experienced within PE lessons and extra-curricular activities. This means NEW and additional extra-curricular activities are eligible.
  • Participants are signposted to take part in the same or similar activities in their local community, following the end of their participation in the programme.
Which groups should be targeted?
  • people from lower socioeconomic communities
  • Focus on disabled people and those with long-term health conditions
  • Women and girls
  • People from ethnic minority backgrounds
Eligibility Criteria for Schools (What can the money be spent on?)
  • Minimum of a 12-week programme for indoor and outdoor facilities
  • Minimum of a 6-week programme for swimming and water safety activities
  • Indoor and outdoor activities can be delivered before school, after school, evenings, weekends and holidays (not including current curriculum or extra-curricular school activities)
  • Swimming activities can be delivered both during the school day, before and after school, evenings, weekends and holidays
  • Activities can be delivered in holidays, in conjunction with HAF and other programmes, but must target new participants
  • Needs to be a new or additional activity to what is already taking place
  • All schools must take part in a national evaluation of the programme
  • The money cannot be used for capital spend projects
What Can the money be spent on?
  • Supporting schools to open up to the community, this could include purchasing booking systems, short-term staffing, additional equipment, improving security to the facility to ensure it can open.
  • Help schools with their own pool on site to safely re-open – this can include purchasing water testing kits and plant servicing following guidance from Swim England. The funding should be used to restart and extend the opportunities for children and young people to participate in swimming activities. Swim England will also be offering advice and guidance on pop-up pools in the near future.
  • Purchase additional sports, activity, and storage equipment (non-fixed items only). You may require additional sports, activity and storage equipment to be able to run activities.
  • To improve the accessibility of school sports facilities, especially for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). This could include buying adaptive sports equipment.
  • Where relevant provide funding for additional short-term staffing challenges which prevent schools from opening facilities or delivering sessions.
  • Providing CPD opportunities for staff to either create sustainable business models or provide training to staff to deliver new activities.
  • Develop existing websites including purchasing of booking systems and marketing/advertising.
  • Are FE colleges and sixth forms eligible for funding? No
  • Are independent schools eligible for funding? No. The only exception to this is where state school swimming take place at a private pool.
  • What is the deadline for spending this funding? Funding for Year 1 must be spent or committed by 31 March 2023.
Is there a deadline to apply for funding?

For Year 1 applications, the final deadline for the full application Friday 24 March 2023. Expression of interest deadline in Monday 27th February 2023.

What reporting will schools be required to do?

A range of reporting data will be required.

Can the money be used to pay for sports coaches, teachers and teaching assistants to deliver activities?

You can use this money to pay sports coaches and sports leaders. You cannot use the money to pay teachers. Teaching assistants can be paid provided they are running a session when they are not being paid to work.

Can the money be used to pay for transport to support children’s transportation from rural areas?

No. Transport to swimming for ‘top up swimming’ if there are no other options (no other sources of funding) is permitted.

Can the funding be used to take pupils offsite to use the facilities at a nearby facility such as a leisure centre?

With the exception of swimming, no, this funding is for opening facilities on school sites.

Can the funding be used to re-open swimming pools on school sites?

Yes, we expect that funding will be used to help support schools to re-open their swimming pools and this a priority area.

Can the funding be used for large-scale capital building works?

No, capital building works are not eligible, including resurfacing, new playgrounds or improvements to sports facilities.

Can the funding be used to cover loss of revenue because of facilities being closed during the period of restrictions?

No, these costs are not eligible items of expenditure.

Can we charge for the activities?

Yes, you can charge for community hire and pay and play etc as long as it isn’t a barrier to participation.

Can I have more than one application per school?

No but you can apply for funding to provide more than one activity.

Can anyone else other than schools apply for funding?

No, only individual schools will be able to apply for funding.

Is funding available for future years?

The programme is for 3 years and schools engaging in Year 1 will receive funding each year, for 3 years subject to progression and success of the project.

Does the amount of funding remain the same for each of the 3 years?

No, it will change.

If you have any additional questions or queries about the programme, or if you wish to discuss your project prior to applying, please contact your local district lead where applicable or email us at