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Section Two: Combined Schools Case Studies

Pupils Survey

A total of 121 pupils from seven schools completed an online survey in July 2022. Whilst school level data has been provided in Section 1, the focus of this section is on the wider lessons that can be learnt across all schools. Of those who completed the survey, the majority learnt about the sessions directly (79%): through a parent/ guardian (13%), class teacher (43%) or friend and family member (22%). Whilst just over half of the children surveyed heard about the sessions passively (54%), through school assemblies (32%), social media (19%) or community advertising (2%). Some pupils learnt of the sessions through multiple sources.

Staff Structured Interviews

School Buy-in

Eight school representatives took part in structured interviews to reflect on their school’s participation in the AEBSD programme. Given the importance of Headteacher buy-in to the success of school-delivered programmes, the staff member was asked, on a 5-point Likert scale (1 = Not a priority; 5 = Essential priority), to what extent the Headteacher had prioritised the establishment, implementation, and sustainability of AEBSD. Five schools reported that, for all three aspects, it was an essential priority for the Headteacher. Three schools reported establishment and implementation were a high priority, while, for sustainability, two schools reported a high priority, and one reported a medium priority. All schools reported that the senior leadership team were happy with the programme delivery and that the programme worked well in their school. The schools each had a dedicated member of staff responsible for the AEBSD Programme.

Motivations for Becoming an Active Education Setting

With an outcome of the pilot being to create active education settings, schools were asked to select the key reasons (from a pre-determined list) as to why becoming such a setting was important to them. The top three reasons identified were:

  • To improve pupils’ health and well-being
  • To give pupils access to active opportunities
  • To develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding of being physically active because it is an important part of their educational experience and development

AEBSD Funding

Schools were asked about the process they undertook to decide on how to invest the AEBSD funding. The following approaches were taken:

  • 8 schools liaised with the Senior Management Team
  • 6 schools liaised with pupils
  • 4 schools liaised with the school governors
  • 3 schools liaised with the parents, wider community, and/ or ‘other’

All eight schools invested the AEBSD funding as planned. Additional investment, beyond that given by Sport Wales, was also reported. Specifically, two schools received additional funding from the Local Authority, and two schools reported using their own funds as a top-up due to rising costs. Four schools reported receiving additional nonfinancial support in the form of in-kind contributions from volunteers, training courses and networking opportunities.


A graphic which highlights the pupils responses to their experiences of accessing an Active Education Beyond the School Day session.   The first circle shows that 99% of pupils rated the overall experience of the sessions as good.  The second circle shows that 99% of pupils felt confident when attending the sessions  The third circle shows that 100% of pupils were likely to recommend these sessions to someone.  The fourth circle shows that 95% of pupils were likely to continue attending the sessions.

Some schools in their AEBSD Expressions of Interest specified an intent to target certain groups. Five schools targeted pupils entitled to free school meals and four schools targeted pupils with additional learning needs. Others target groups included LGBTQ+ (two schools), ethnic minorities (1 school), Travelling community (1 school), girls (1 school), and boys (1 school).


To help provide context regarding how the staff viewed physical activity in their school, they were asked to consider how physical activity was prioritised and integrated within their school, as this could help schools in the future when implementing the programme. The top three approaches selected from a pre-determined list were:

  • Budget is allocated to enable a breadth of physical activity learning
  • Prominence to physical activity learning offer through school events, celebrations, parent’s evenings, open dates etc
  • Dedicated member of staff responsible for physical activity learning


Seven of the eight schools answered the question relating to community cohesion due to the phase they were in relative to the programme implementation. On a 5-point Likert scale, schools were asked to what extent involvement in the programme had improved community cohesion. All schools found staff wanted to be involved and that the relationship with the wider community had improved. Given the benefits of partnership working, it is positive that five of the schools reported connecting with neighbouring schools on programme content (Table 2). Through reflections, the schools have further outlined ways that the programme has impacted community cohesion (Box 8).

Table 2. Extent schools agreed/strongly agreed with the community cohesion statements

Community Cohesion StatementsTotal Schools
School staff have wanted to be involved in the delivery of the programme7
The programme improved the school’s relationship with the wider community7
The programme improved community cohesion in the school6
Parents of our pupils have been engaging in the programme6
The school has increased its engagement with the wider community since the programme started6
The local authority has assisted in the implementation of the programme5
The school has connected with neighbouring schools to discuss programme offer5

Quotes from school/sport development staff outlining ways that the programme has had an impact on community cohesion

“Community Cohesion includes links with community clubs and the goal is just to build on what we offer and doing lots of consultation with the kids”


“Difficult to engage clubs using volunteers. There is not a great netball, badminton, rounders offer because there aren’t the volunteers to do it.”


“Our governors, in terms of things like the 3G pitch, they wanted that to support local clubs. We want to provide access to everyone and as a business manager it does offer an opportunity to generate finance from the use of facilities, and invest in our facilities, a win-win for school and local community 

Next Steps

Schools were asked who their target populations are over the next five years. All eight schools reported that their own pupils would be a focus; seven schools reported neighbouring school pupils and wider community; and six schools reported parents, school staff and community groups. To implement the AEBSD programme for the next five years, schools were asked what support they require from a pre-determined list (‘other option’ was also available to select). Seven schools (out of eight) reported needing further funding, three schools reported increased participation, two schools reported increased parental engagement, and one reported needing support with administration processes (e.g. insurance and risk assessments).


Eleven schools submitted reflective learning logs, which have been considered together to draw reflections on the impact schools recorded on: i) their educational priorities; ii) sport and physical activity; and iii) community cohesion.