Active Lancashire Provide Funding to 46 Lancashire Schools

Active Lancashire has successfully completed a second year of its Opening School Facilities funding, a scheme which has distributed £440,000 across 46 Lancashire schools.

The funding enables schools to create a lasting impact on their sports and physical activity offer, and support pupils who face barriers to physical education. Notable initiatives include projects which target specific groups of children who are less-active, including girls-only dance groups, ‘Learn to Cycle’ sessions for low-income families, and iSports equipment that makes physical activity more accessible for children with Special Educational Needs.

Lathom High School, based in Skelmersdale, has accessed the funding since September 2022, and has begun to offer new extra-curricular activities for its pupils as a result. The school was initially struggling to deliver after-school clubs due to staff availability, meaning the funding they received through Opening School Facilities has enabled them to hire organisations to deliver free, weekly sessions for their pupils.

The school had also noted that pupil attendance at existing clubs was low, and recognised that transportation was a barrier which prevented children from attending extra-curricular activities. To enable more children to attend after school clubs, the school have extended their school bus timetable to provide those attending any extra-curricular activities with a safe, free method of travelling home.

Since receiving Opening School Facilities funding and extending their shuttle bus operating hours, Lathom High School have seen a substantial increase in attendance at their extra-curricular activities. What’s more, the school have noted a significant improvement in the wellbeing, confidence and behaviour of those pupils who have attended the clubs.

One of the primary objectives of the funding is to unlock the potential of school facilities for the benefit of a broader spectrum of young people. Through collaborative efforts with sporting organisations, schools are encouraged to open their existing sport facilities to the wider community. This endeavour aims to create a positive impact on both students and the community by providing access to high-quality facilities and diverse sporting activities.

Thanks to Opening School Facilities funding, Lathom High School have collaborated with Base Dance Company, Ormskirk, since September 2022, to offer free, weekly dance sessions to both their pupils, and children from the wider community.

Year 7 pupil Eva Kavanagh began attending the dance club whilst she was still in primary school, and said that this helped ease her transition into high school. Eva said that, “I have always enjoyed dancing, and the club has increased both my confidence and creativity hugely.

“I started attending the club whilst I was in year 6, and it helped me to prepare for my move to high school. I was able to get a taste of what school life was like, meet pupils who already attended the school, and make friends with other children who were due to progress into year 7 like me.

“I’ve carried on coming to the club since joining Lathom High School, as it is something I look forward to doing each week – I enjoy being active, and I feel really supported by the teacher and other pupils. I’m also happy that I’m able to support younger pupils and share my experience with them, hopefully making their move to high school a little bit easier!”

Now in the second year of Opening School Facilities funding, Lathom High School have been able to purchase equipment for their after school clubs, enabling children to learn more advanced techniques and routines. This has meant that students in the Dance Club have been able to begin preparing for local and regional competitions, which could see them compete at the prestigious Blackpool Opera House.

Active Lancashire remains committed to fostering a culture of inclusivity, physical well-being, and community engagement within the educational landscape. The success of Opening School Facilities’ Year 2 funding underscores their dedication to creating lasting positive change in the lives of young individuals and communities.

For more information on Opening School Facilities, please contact [email protected]

European Union
Active Partnerships
Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership
Funded by UK Government Levelling Up