Friday, June 24, 2011

Back to School

Ben Field

Ben is the recently appointed manager of Sport Pembrokeshire at Pembrokeshire County Council

With schools across Wales being asked to get their pupils to fill in the national School Sport Survey, Ben describes his work so far to sell the benefits of the project.
When details of the survey came out I could certainly see the benefits of having the data – both for my team working in sport and the schools themselves – and I wanted to make sure we did our bit to sell the benefits.
We started off with an e-mail from the Director of Education to all our schools. This wasn’t a directive but an opportunity to stress the importance and encourage them to take part. It was good to have that endorsement from the Director.
I met with the Education Advisors for the School Improvement Teams to talk them through the detail and gain their support.
I presented to Primary School Headteachers while my Head of Service presented to Secondary Headteachers.
All Sport Pembrokeshire staff work in some form or another with local schools – peripatetic PE tutors, 5x60, Dragon Sport and sport specific officers – and they are key to reminding schools about the survey and giving that extra encouragement.
We’ve got a newsletter that goes out to schools and the public and we’ve included a full page article on the survey in our current edition.
I’m maintaining regular contact with Headteachers via phone and email. If the school has completed or started the survey I’m e-mailing them to make sure I thank them for their support. And also trying to build up some healthy competition.
The key message I’ve been selling is around the well-being agenda and the information that will be made available for schools to use, particularly as evidence for any impending Estyn Inspections.
I’ve had some constructive feedback about the questions, the terminology and the length of time it’s taken some pupils to fill in.
With the data that we could have, I certainly hope the end will justify the means.