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West Lothian Active Schools Charter

The aim of the West Lothian Active Schools Charter is to support every primary and secondary school in offering their pupils opportunities to engage in an active and healthy lifestyle in support of the National Physical Activity Strategy.

The Charter has provided a framework for schools to define their commitment to sport and physical activity. Formalising the relationship between schools and Active Schools Coordinators has led to clearer links between the core business of Active Schools and the Curriculum for Excellence and West Lothian’s Single Outcome Agreement.

How It Started

The Charter was produced in 2007 as a result of research carried out by the then Scottish Executive and sportscotland which concluded that physical activity is most effective when implemented as part of daily life and routine.

A provisional Active Schools Charter was drafted and submitted for consultation with representatives from schools within West Lothian in order to work towards a shared vision. Once the document was agreed and published, the charter was then publicly launched at a local, regional and national level to raise awareness of its existence - the first of its kind in Scotland. Each school in West Lothian received a copy of the charter through the Active Schools network and Active Schools Coordinators continue to work in partnership with staff members from their schools to support its implementation.

Partners Involved

Partners and funders include:

- West Lothian Active Schools

- West Lothian Schools Staff

- Community Sports Clubs and Coaches

- Active Schools Volunteers

- Parents and Carers

Process

The aim of the Active Schools Charter is to support every primary and secondary school in offering their pupils opportunities to engage in an active and healthy lifestyle in support of the National Physical Activity Strategy. Schools work across the three levels of the Charter - Bronze, Silver and Gold, each of which reflects the school’s commitment and success in offering pupils healthy alternatives and activities.

The Charter has provided a framework for schools to define their commitment to sport and physical activity. Formalising the relationship between schools and Active Schools Coordinators has led to clearer links between the core business of Active Schools and the Curriculum for Excellence and West Lothian’s Single Outcome Agreement.

Results and Impact

The aim is to have all schools in West Lothian signed up to the initiative and currently 75% of all schools in West Lothian are working their way towards a Bronze, Silver or Gold award. Three primary schools have achieved the Gold level, six have achieved the Silver level and twenty-seven have achieved the Bronze.

Each coordinator monitors progress within their schools on an individual basis with authority wide progress being reviewed annually.

Partnership working between the schools and Active Schools in West Lothian has resulted in:

- Additional staff, coaches and volunteers being trained to deliver sport and physical activities

- An increased number of Health & Wellbeing related projects being delivered within participating schools

- Greater emphasis put on active travel

- Increased and improved links made with local clubs and community organisations

- A dialog being established with parents/ carers regarding activities within the school and in their community

- More involvement from schools in shaping where, when and how Active Schools is delivered within West Lothian

Lessons Learned

The Charter has resulted in four key successes regarding leading practice:

- The effective integration, planning, management and delivery of Active Schools within West Lothian

- The increase in participation amongst “hard to reach groups” through the adoption of a targeted approach

- The provision of opportunities for all children and young people to participate in physical activity and sport and the creation of pathways from the school to the wider community

- The establishment of a sustainable volunteer network

What's next for the project?

There have been many challenges with the Charter however the most significant of these was establishing a clear and concise framework for the diverse opportunities and support offered by the Active Schools network. By creating a cross sector working group tasked with creating a provisional Active Schools Charter these difficulties were overcome in consultation with relevant stakeholders.

The Active Schools Charter is a positive model for effective partnership working and capacity building. By committing to this partnership approach in the coming months and years, Active Schools Co-ordinators will continue to work with all schools in West Lothian to encourage stronger relationships with their own staff, parents/ carers and pupils, as well as having effective working relationships with other local, regional and national agencies such as community sports clubs, health professionals, Sport Development, Outdoor Education and sportscotland.

What is this?

What is it about?

Where is this relevant?

Attachments

When was this published?

5/9/2012

Lead Contact Name

Sheila McEwan

Designation

Active Schools Manager

Organisation

West Lothian Council

Address

West Lothian Civic Centre, Howden Road South, Livingston, EH54 6FF

Phone Number

01506 281256

Email Address

Sheila.mcewan@westlothian.gov.uk

Address

West Lothian Civic Centre Howden Road South Livingston EH54 6FF

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