In 2021 Jersey Sport launched the Move More Schools Grant, with the aim of creating a scheme to provide funding that can be easily accessed by schools to improve their physical activity offering.
The grant allows schools to inspire, promote and embed physical activity into everyday life, for every member of their school community – which will contribute to creating more active, healthier, happier, and more productive school communities.
To date, thanks to money received from the Government of Jersey, 23 primary schools have received contributions totalling £63,318 – which has enabled them to build a community that embraces physical activity across all levels and places a healthy, active lifestyle at the heart of their school.
Deputy Lucy Stephenson, Assistant Minister for Economic Development with responsibility for Sport said: “We know that in Jersey 82% of children are not active enough to support good mental and physical health. Just 18% of children are meeting the minimum health guidelines by taking part in one hour or more of physical activity each day. With the support of the Move More Schools Grant, Jersey Sport can work with more of our schools to help them to develop and embed more physical activity into their children’s day.”
All Government primary schools, including the subsidised fee-paying schools and Mont a l’Abbe and La Sente, can apply for funding each year and every application must be used for a new school project. The Move More Schools Grant works like a seed fund – supporting schools to start new schemes and projects, which the school then continues to fund themself from their own budget to keep them going.
Elliot Powell, Children and Schools Manager at Jersey Sport, explained: “We wanted to create a system that kept administration to a minimum, to enable schools to access funding promptly within the school year. Schools are given complete autonomy in their proposals and can apply for funds for a variety of different projects. For example, paying for delivery of PE lessons using external staff, up-skilling their workforce, offering after school classes for teachers, providing outdoor equipment or other unique projects that improve physical activity within the school community. Once a proposal is submitted and approved by Jersey Sport, funds are released so that schools can implement their new schemes promptly.”
To maintain equity and transparency, the grant equates to around £13 per student – which enables larger schools to create the same impact within their school community as the smaller local schools. Each December, Jersey Sport carry out Impact Assessments to analyse the effectiveness of each school’s initiative and to collect data to support future funding requests.
In terms of future plans, Elliot says: “Jersey Sport would love to be able to extend the grant to every school in Jersey, including secondary schools. It is crucial that we address the drop off in physical activity that occurs when children move up to secondary school and into their teenage years. If we can extend the success of our primary school grant scheme, it will enable us to expand into secondary school provisions in the coming years, besides then increasing funding into primary schools.”
The Move More Schools Grant scheme has greatly benefitted children and schools over the past two years and there have been many success stories, including Samares School, which saw a 90% reduction in behaviour incidents at break and lunchtimes due to the installation of new Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL) facilities that enhanced pupil engagement.
Les Landes School and d’Auvergne School have also used the grant to great effect. Les Landes School have encouraged pupils and parents to get cycling to school by setting up the first ‘Cycling Crocodile’ – which is now run most days, with 50% of the school population cycling to school. Children at d’Auvergne School are now participating in a 10-minute Daily Run and teachers have created an after-school club timetable which includes 22 activities focused on exercise and sport, with 200 children taking part each week. The school has also been able to purchase 450 Home Physical Literacy Packs, for every child in the school. The packs include physical activity exercise suggestions, which support the children to develop skills, strength, balance and flexibility out of school hours.
Investment into children’s health and wellbeing through sport and physical activity is vital because it improves concentration and behaviour in school, teaches important transferrable skills such as teamwork, commitment, confidence, resilience and motivation, whilst laying down the foundations for living a healthy and active life in the future.
To read more about our Move More Schools Grant, please visit: www.jerseysport.je/move-more-schools-grant.
Applications for the 2023 Move More Schools Grant are now open until 7 April 2023. Interested schools should contact Elliot Powell, Children and Schools Manager, at: firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a meeting at their school.