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Healthy Active Schools System helps pupils' activity levels

Nathan Moore, Physical Activity Project Manager, Public Health Commissioning at Sandwell Council explains why HASS is perfect for academies

Posted by Lucinda Reid | February 18, 2017 | School life

The Fit For Sport ‘Healthy Active Schools System’ (HASS) is an excellent set of tools for schools that tracks, measures, reports and improves pupils’ physical activity levels. The HASS is free making it accessible to all academies without impacting the bottom line. Academies should welcome the HASS with open arms: their independence, culture of working with outside businesses and charitable bodies make them ideal to partner with Fit For Sport.  The HASS is completely measurable, trackable, reportable and accountable.  As a new concept which must prove its worth, it ticks every headteacher’s box!

I introduced the HASS across our 99 primary schools in seven learning communities in Sandwell: statistically one of the most impoverished and least active boroughs in the country.

We started with the Fit For Sport Activity Challenge comprising a minute of running, jumping and catching exercises.  We noted the children’s scores to give a start point. It opened the schools’ eyes to ALL the pupils’ activity levels.  Not just the football first 11 or cross country talent.

Having a steer on where individual children, classes and year groups are in terms of their physical activity and ability is invaluable.  There have been recent calls from Government, Public Health England and The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health for measurement. But to measure something you need a start point – like the Activity Challenge.  Then you need a set of measurement tools – like the Healthy Active Schools System.  Together they work a treat and are gold dust for academies needing to show their colleagues, parents and investors what is being done about addressing physical inactivity in their schools.

The HASS software loads in minute and the FFS team are on hand to support.  There are plenty of additional, free downloadable resources plus Fit For Sport can come into the playground, teach activities, upskill staff, run workshops and meet parents: whatever it take to give schools the confidence to implement the Activity Challenge. There is a cost attached to the onsite work but it’s money well spent in my opinion and the HASS shows clearly - down to individual children if needs be – where the money is going and how things are improving. 

Ninety per cent of parents researched by FFS want to know how active their child is at school and would like a School Sport Report. With the HASS, parents are no longer in the dark, nor can they be in denial of how active/inactive their child is.  On parents evenings, teachers can show how their child is doing.  Just as they’ll know which spellings are to be learned, what their reading target is and which times table to master next, parents will know how active their child is and what their next target is.

Physical activity isn’t just an education issue – it’s a public health issue.  Academies are perfectly placed to influence children’s behaviour and instil good, healthy habits. The Healthy Active Schools System is free, the advice is on tap and once the system is up and running and a few staff are shown how to use it, it runs itself.  It is genuinely a useful, practical and valuable set of tools for schools

For more information, visit Fit for Sport’s website.  

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