Ben Williams, Active Young People Coordinator, Vale Of
How did you approach the 2013 School Sport
We didn't have the manpower to physically go into schools to
support them. And besides, we wanted schools to value and own the
We set up a steering group, sent information to headteachers and
attended different meetings to explain the survey and sell it. We
offered a cash prize draw for schools in the Vale that had to be
spent on tackling an area raised in the survey report.
What did you do once the survey was live?
To qualify for a Local Authority report, we needed a
cross-section of schools - eg, schools from different Free School
Meal quartiles. The steering group approached specific schools to
We could see if schools had started the process but not finished
it so we'd call and tell them how many more children were required
to qualify for a report.
What advice would you give other Local
Schools will get involved for different reasons. Some will want
a dedicated report on health and wellbeing, some will compare
themselves to neighbouring schools and some will want to win the
We also explained to schools that if they were arguing for an
extra resource or intervention, the report may provide the evidence
to back up the request. And maybe we could offer support?
What are your tips for schools to complete the survey as
efficiently as possible?
1. Every school is different so it's not one size fits all. It
can depend on a number of factors - eg, the ICT available
2. A champion in school itself to engage other staff is
3. You need to survey different year groups, so you need more than
one member of staff to drive it forward
4. It's important that schools know the survey can be flexible to
suit the school. If you want to survey one pupil at a time, you
can. If you want to cover whole classes at a time, you can. The
survey is live for an entire term so if you want to do it in the
first week, you can. Or save it to the last week. It's really what
works best for you.
5. There is support available so ring your local authority sports
development team if you need to
Why do it?
Previously, we collected programme data on Dragon Sport and
5x60. But that only shows us part of the story. The School Sport
Survey captures wider population data.
It has allowed us to base our work programmes and investment on
areas of need. Everything we plan now is based on robust data. It's
not just what we think we should do for children in the Vale of
Glamorgan. We have evidence to back it up.
What's changed since the survey?
The way we approach and react to work is different - especially
in primary schools. We analyse school reports, pull out areas where
we can make the biggest difference and tailor interventions.
For example, we have looked at the five lowest schools in terms
of participation and introduced a Young Leadership programme. A
number of young leaders will be trained up to run lunchtime clubs,
act as role models and encourage children to take part. We believe
this will help increase participation and is a good example of how
we are using the insights from the School Sports Survey.