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Support Others > Insight & Learning > Opening School Facilities

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Wendy Riley

Opening Schools Facilities Lead


Kirsty Malone

Opening Schools’ Facilities (OSF) Programme Lead


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Opening School Facilities

Opening Schools Facilities (OSF) is a Department for Education (DfE) school funding programme to meet the goals of the Government’s School Sport and Activity Action Plan (SSAAP).

The aim is to help schools to open their existing sport facilities, including school swimming pools, for a broader range of young people and to support the wider community by partnering with sporting organisations, who can help deliver activities in these settings.

The three-year investment will ensure that local solutions are sought collaboratively that identify long term changes in behaviour, leading to more people being active in areas that need it the most.

The programme is being led by the national network of Active Partnerships, which includes Active Notts and Active Derbyshire. It is supported by ukactive, StreetGames and the Youth Sport Trust.

Programme Objectives

The objectives of OSF are:

  • To support schools to open their facilities outside of the normal school day (before school, evenings, weekends, and holidays) to allow children & young people and the wider community to access more opportunities to be physically active.
  • To open school swimming pools focusing on swimming and water safety lessons both during and outside the school day for pupils at their school and for pupils at other local schools.
  • To provide participants with a range of stimulating and enjoyable opportunities to take part in physical activity and sport, in addition to that experienced within PE lessons and extra-curricular activities. This means NEW and additional extra-curricular activities are eligible.
  • To signpost participants to take part in the same or similar activities in their local community, following the end of their participation in the programme.

Eligibility criteria

Funding from OSF can be used by schools in the following ways:

  • Swimming activities can be delivered both during the school day, before or after school, evenings, weekends and holidays
  • Activities can be delivered in holidays, in conjunction with the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme and other programmes, but must target new participants
  • Activity needs to be a new or additional to what is already taking place

All eligible items for expenditure, must be paid for first and then claimed in arrears.

All schools must agree to take part in a national evaluation of the programme.

A focus on tackling inequalities

The funding will be used to support activity which focuses on:

  • Disabled people/those with long term health conditions 
  • People from lower socio-economic communities 
  • Women and girls 
  • People from culturally diverse communities

Activity should also:

  • Engage the school community 
  • Engage the wider community 
  • Develop a sustainable workforce 
  • Add value (e.g., Holiday Activities and Food programme/community safety) 
  • Incorporate youth voice  

In order to meet the above criteria, Active Notts and Active Derbyshire have worked with key partners to identify schools to receive funding. The process has been led by insight and data, including looking at the percentage of a school’s pupils who are eligible for free school meals, are on the SEN register, or who speak English as an additional language.

Funding periods

Year 1: January 2023 – March 2023 (All year 1 schools have now been contacted).
Year 2: April 2023 – March 2024
Year 3: April 2024 – March 2025

For more information or to see if your School is eligible please contact Wendy Riley at wendy.riley@activepartnerstrust.org.uk

Supporting information

School guidance

Sample delivery plan

Case Studies

Find out more about how OSF funding has been supporting schools and their children, young people and wider communities below.

Brackenfield SEND School in Long Eaton

St Andrew’s Academy, Derby

St Andrew’s Academy, Derby