Wiltshire & Swindon's Active Partnership - working to make active lifestyles for all a reality

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PE and Sport Premium Funding Confirmed 2020-21

PSP NewThe Education Secretary has announced that schools in England will benefit from £320 million from the PE and Sport Premium during the academic year 2020-21.

The PE and Sport Premium is designed to help children get an active start in life, supporting primary schools to improve the quality of their PE and sport provision so that pupils experience the benefits of regular exercise – from becoming healthier both mentally and physically to improved behaviour and better academic achievement.

Gavin Williamson has today (Sunday 5 July) confirmed that funding for the PE and Sport Premium, which was doubled in 2017, will once again continue at this higher rate of £320 million next year. It builds on the ambitious School Sport and Activity Action Plan launched last year and underlines the importance of PE and sport in the Government’s manifesto.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, said:

During these challenging times, it has become clearer to me than ever the importance of keeping active and how it benefits not just our physical health but also our ability to pay attention, our mood and our mental health too.

Every family will have had a different experience of the pandemic, and I know that many children will have missed time spent outdoors with their friends – that’s why it’s so important that ahead of a full return to school in September, schools get the certainty they need to prepare their PE and sports activities for next year.

The Department for Education has also confirmed today that any PE and Sport Premium funding from the current academic year (2019-20) that schools were unable to use as a result of the coronavirus pandemic can be brought forward to use in the next academic year, giving school leaders an opportunity to develop or add to their existing provision, or to make improvements that will benefit pupils joining the school in future years.

Link for the announcement is : https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pe-and-sport-premium-for-schools-confirmed

Inspiring Coaches

To celebrate National Volunteers Week, we have spoken to 3 coaches volunteering in Wiltshire and their stories are inspiring to all!  Take a read below and maybe you will be motivated to start a new path yourself...

David Baker2David Baker

David was having a one-to-one boxing session at Swindon's Scrappers Boxing Club when he started to experience pain and discomfort in his back. He asked if this was normal as he had not experienced the pain before, and ended up getting it checked by a doctor. 

He was given the crushing news that he had a tumour on his spine and may never walk again.  His only option was surgery, but even then he may be left unable to walk.

David went ahead with the surgery and after a long and painful road has now made a full recovery.  The experience made him appreciate how much we take our health for granted and he decided he wanted to give something back.  He took a Level 1 ABA coaching qualification and is now a volunteer coach at Scrappers. 

In David's own words; "I absolutely love coaching!".

Gareth LaganGareth Lagan

Gareth suffers with social anxiety and also has Tourettes. He has struggled with being accepted for who he is. His way of dealing with his anxiety was to stay indoors and this lead to him becoming addicted to gaming, unfit and overweight.

To help Gareth, Scrappers Boxing Club have encouraged him to help coach a group from Crowdy`s Hill school. Gareth has been attending the gym on and off for a long time, but sometimes slips back into his old habits.  At times like these, the club reach out to him and get him back on track.

Gareth will be encouraged to continue with his coaching.  He has been attending on a regular basis since he has been given the role of coach, and it feels like this will be the making of him.  A little recognition goes a long way!


In early January Aidan incurred a bad head injury while playing rugby, which caused concussion and residual symptoms for several weeks.  His Physio advised him to get checked by a Doctor, who told him to take some time out for ‘Brain Rest’.  Not long after, he found himself starting to struggle at college; he found it difficult to concentrate in lessons and was getting frustrated and angry about anything and everything. Other than his girlfriend, he didn’t let anyone know what was going on.

Aidan's grades fell drastically and before too long he started hating college and didn’t want to be there. His family also began to notice small changes in his character which raised alarms and he was persuaded to go to see a Doctor who diagnosed depression.  Soon after this, Aidan's condition spiralled to the point where he was struggling to just get up in the mornings. "Having depression is like a cancer, it eats away at you and it feels like you’re losing everything and you begin to drown in negative thoughts/feelings until you reach a point where you even consider suicide as a better option than the struggle you are dealing with".  Ever since, Aidan has regularly seen professionals who have helped him recover and become stronger than ever before.

In September, Aidan saw a Neurologist who advised it was not safe to continue playing rugby due to the risk of head injury. They recommended he never play again, advice which broke him as he'd been playing the game since he was 5 years old.  While still coming to terms with not being able to play rugby, Aidan started to support his club mates from the side lines. This led to him coaching the Bassett’s Under 13s side, where he has had a huge impact and has quickly become a popular and valued member of the coaching team.

Aidan is a very brave and strong young man and we thank him for allowing us to share his story. It shows how you can always find a place for yourself within the rugby family, on or off the field.

Back to school guidance (inc PE provision) for limited return proposed for 1st June 2020

Advice Schools covidInformation from DfE, Youth Sports Trust and AfPE (published 24/5/20)

Schools, colleges and nurseries across England remain on track to open to more children from 1 June, the Prime Minister confirmed today (24 May 2020).

Primary schools will welcome back children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, while nurseries and other early years providers will begin welcoming back children of all ages.

Secondary schools, sixth forms and colleges will also provide face-to-face contact for Year 10, Year 12 and equivalent 16-19 further education students to help them prepare for exams next year. It is expected this will begin from 15 June, with around a quarter of these secondary students in at any point.

The government acknowledged that some schools may not be able to reopen immediately and are committed to continuing to work with the sector to ensure any schools experiencing difficulties are able to open as soon as possible.

In line with the government’s roadmap setting out how the UK will adjust its response to the virus, the approach to schools remains a cautious, phased one. It is also broadly in line with other European countries.

department for education

Clear, detailed guidance has been published by the Department for Education on how schools can open in a way which is safe for children, teachers and parents including Protective measuresAdvice for parents and carers and Advice for schools.

While it is recognised that full social distancing may not be possible, the guidance sets out a range of measures to protect children and staff. This includes:

  • reducing the size of classes and keeping children in small groups without mixing with others
  • staggered break and lunch times, as well as drop offs and pickups
  • increasing the frequency of cleaning, reducing the used of shared items and utilising outdoor space

YST and AfPE

YST PEThe Youth Sports Trust (YST) and the Association for Physical Education (AfPE) have also published guidance relating to the delivery of PE and physical activity in schools.  (Click on the image to the right to enlarge it).

All children, school staff and their families, will also have access to testing if they display symptoms. This will enable children and staff to get back to school if they test negative, and if they test positive a test and trace approach can be taken.

Children will also be encouraged not to travel on public transport where possible, in line with the advice to the wider population.

The ambition is to bring all primary year groups back to school before the summer holidays, for a month if feasible, though this will be kept under review. Schools will only welcome back additional year groups if the most up-to-date assessment of the risk posed by the virus indicates it is appropriate to have larger numbers of children within schools. The safety of children and staff is the utmost priority.

The three year groups within mainstream primary have been prioritised because they are key transition years – children in Reception and year 1 are at the very beginning of their school career and are mastering the essential basics, including counting and the fundamentals of reading and writing, and learning to socialise with their peers. We know that attending early education lays the foundation for lifelong learning and supports children’s social and emotional development. Year 6 children are finishing Key Stage 2 and are preparing for the transition to secondary school and will benefit immensely from time with their friends and teachers to ensure they are ready.

Younger children will be prioritized in the first phases of wider opening, for several reasons. Firstly, because there is moderately high scientific confidence in evidence suggesting younger children are less likely to become unwell if infected with coronavirus (COVID-19); and secondly because evidence shows the particularly detrimental impact which time spent out of education can have upon them. In addition, older children are more likely to have higher numbers of contacts outside of school so pose a greater transmission risk, and they are typically better able to learn at home.

The two-year groups in mainstream secondary schools and colleges have been prioritised because they are preparing for key examinations next year and are most at risk of falling behind due to time out of school or college. From 1 June 2020, we expect that secondary schools and colleges will be able to offer some face to face contact with year 10 and year 12 pupils. This will not be a return to full timetables or pupils back in school or college full time, rather some support to supplement pupils’ remote education. In line with implementing protective measures and reducing contacts, schools and colleges should limit the attendance of the year 10 and 12 cohort in the setting at any one time and to keep students in small groups as set out in our guidance. Schools and colleges should also ensure that the use of public transport for travel to and from school/college is minimised, especially at peak times. Consultation with sector representatives will take palce over the coming week in order to develop some suggested models to demonstrate how this could operate, which will be published along with further guidance for secondary schools in the coming weeks.

The approach is in line with other countries across Europe, who have begun to bring pre-school and school-age children back in a phased way and are focusing on primary schools and younger children. Approaches between countries will vary slightly based on different public health circumstances.

Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)

IOSH have also issued advice on how to return to schools safely.  Decisions being made around re‑opening schools have important implications for staff, children, parents, carers, and communities at large. IOSH's full guide to considerations for decision‑makers and educators can be found pdfhere.

A framework for the safe delivery of children’s activity provision during social distancing

UK Active KidsCoach iv has produced a document that sets out the framework for safe physical activity provision in schools and facilities during an anticipated period of "social distancing" following the full closure of the schools/facilities due to COVID-19. It also provides the basis for individual providers to develop their own required technical operating guidance for working with children, young people and families. This advice seeks to support staff working in facilities (i.e. school sites), to deliver physical activity programming in the safest way possible, focusing on measures they can put in place to deliver activity clubs and out of school provision post COVID-19.

The framework has been developed in full partnership with the ukactive Children’s Activity Providers and has been reviewed by stakeholders across the education and physical activity sectors. It has also been informed by best practice from ukactive kids members and Department for Education guidance.

The Children’s Activity Provider sector will have a vital role in ensuring the ongoing health and wellbeing of young people and their families following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. We believe this role has never been more important than at the current time in helping the country and British society regain its health. The Government realises how important ‘exercise’ is, and as the Chief Medical Officer stated: “There is no situation, no age, no condition, where exercise is not a good thing.”

Please find the full document pdfhere

Safety Advice

Virtual School GamesAll of the challenges included in the Virtual Wiltshire School Games have been designed so that you can do them at home or school with minimal equipment and limited space.  Most of them can be done either inside or outside, but here are some basic safety guidelines to bear in mind:

  • Ensure that the floor/ground is flat and clear of debris and that there are no trip hazards, such as electric cords or wet spots
  • Ensure there is enough space around you to safely perform the activities
  • Ensure that any equipment you are using is safe and in good working condition
  • Have a bottle of water handy when you exercise
  • It's a good idea to warm up before an activity - we have a video for you to follow if you wish
  • Know your limits and work to your own ability - the Games is all about achieving your personal best
  • Younger children should be supervised throughout
  • If you are exercising outside on a sunny day, don't forget to wear a hat and suncream

If you have a question or are unsure about anything, please do get in touch with us by emailing alma@wiltssort.org.

Stay safe and have fun!

Teach Active CPD Available

School Staff CPDDuring this uncertain period of school closures, Teach Active are delivering a variety of exciting and engaging FREE webinars for all schools, as well as supporting their existing schools with on-line training.

These include:

  • Teach Active demonstration with Q&A
  • Teach Active schools steps to success
  • Why Physical Activity should be on your SDP
  • Active Maths - a journey to the top 5% nationwide
  • Teach Active schools - discover TA English!
  • How Teach Active is transforming Maths & English
  • Teach Active English - why you should consider it
  • Teach Active Maths - why you should consider it
  • Teach Active schools - best use of TA homework
  • Teach Active schools - whole school training

To find out more, please click here.

Are you starting to plan your 2020/2021 CPD Calendar?  Remember Teach Active deliver free CPD and this year have already delivered to over 50% of the UK SGO’s.  Get in touch, whenever you are ready, to plan your session with them for next year by contacting info@teachactive.org or 01244 735110.

TWGC Poster competition!

Back in March at our First This Girl Can festival in Mid Wilts, we challenged girls to create their most empowering slogans, inspired by the @ThisGirlCanUK campaign.

After much deliberation we are pleased to announce the winner… Saskia from The Corsham School! 








As we were so impressed by all entries, every school who came to the Mid Wilts Festival will receive a printed A3 poster featuring a slogan created by one of their students to display in their school to inspire other girls to be active!  Here they all are for you to view (click on an image to enlarge it).



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