CSP: Active Cheshire
Further Information: West Cheshire Daily Mile - Application copy.pdf
The Daily Mile is a successful and sustained physical activity intervention for Primary Schools, started in St Ninians School in Stirling and credited with improving the fitness and reducing overweight and obesity levels amongst its pupils. The initiative is simple, effective and owned by the schools, teachers and pupils themselves. Put simply The Daily Mile provides an additional 15 minutes of physical activity for every child in the school, every day!
In West Cheshire, The Daily Mile is a CSP led initiative, the first locality in England to bring the impact of this programme across the border and not only replicate its success but add some serious value to the programme to. In West Cheshire the initiative is now driven by a partnership, led by Active Cheshire but incorporating local Headteachers, Local Authority Public Health, NHS West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Leisure Providers and a range of local businesses.
Core Principles and Keys to Success
At the very heart of The Daily Mile is simplicity, ease, an understanding of schools, their community and a drive to improve the health and wellbeing of this generation of young people. The sustainability of this programme has been proven, (over 4 years in Scottish schools and 12 months in Cheshire) this is down to the ownership and flexibility for schools. Teachers and pupils choose how their Daily Mile is shaped, when during the day it takes place and how they link it to curriculum outcomes. This way it is never enforced, onerous or loses pupils interest.
We support schools to understand these core principles:
- It is owned and delievered by the school, class teachers and pupils themselves
- It is flexible as to the time it takes place during each school day but must be additional activity
- There is no need for equipment, trainin, sports kti, warming up or down. Children just start and finish naturally
- The weather is a benefit, rain, snow and wind all help build resilience and reflects perfectly the real environment we live in
- It should be slick in how it happens taking only 15 minutes from desk to desk
- It must be daily or children find it difficult. This soon becomes natural and froms part of the school day, a habit forming for life
- Link to learning and curriculm where teachers feel appropriate, this helps keep it fresh, excting and different
- The time should be essentially social and posititve, children take it at their own pace, walk, jog, run or combination
Active Cheshire’s innovative partnership approach to implementing The Daily Mile, supporting quality implementation and delivery in schools, has led to significant recognition and media profile for the Network. During 2016 our work has been showcased via:
National Television and Radio including - BBC One Show (7m+ viewers), BBC Northwest Tonight, BBC Breakfast and BBC Radio 2, 4, 5 Live and Radio Meseyside.
The Guardian newspaper covered the programmes transition from Scotland to Cheshire through our collaborative work with Elaine Wyllie, Stirling Council and St Ninian’s Primary.
The West Cheshire model features with its own chapter in education publication ‘The School of Wellbeing – 12 Extraordinary Projects Promoting Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Happiness’ (J Hulme, 2016)
The programmes impact has been celebrated by the Royal Society of Public Health, Championing the Public’s Health awards and campaign during 2016
The Need in the Education Sector
Our work on The Daily Mile did not occur by chance but as a result of in depth sector development planning, research and engagement with a broad range of stakeholders including Headteachers, teachers, Local Authorities, Young People, Department for Education, Parents and all in light of the current and future climate of politics, policy and strategy.
In Cheshire we knew that over a third of Primary age children leave school (aged 11) overweight and obese and that nationally less than 40% of young people meet the minimum levels of daily physical activity recommended in the Chief Medical Officers Guidelines. Tackling these issues are key local priorities for health and education partners alike.
It was clear from this research that the sector was crowded with overcomplicated, disjointed and costly programmes. These had not been sustainable and put simply have not addressed the priorities our partners shared. When we learnt about the concept making a lasting impact in Scotland, we were the first to go see for ourselves and to invest in learning the details and nuances behind its success. We needed a simple, sustainable programme that schools could own - but still delivered big impact
Our partnership approach has enabled our impact to go beyond the school gates. To date we have seen the Clinical Commissioning Group work with GP Surgeries to promote regular walks to patients, the Local Authority support schools to build all weather trail infrastructure and Leisure Providers offer free passes to help keep families active over school holiday periods.
Parents have commented that their children have ‘ encouraged us to follow their example and get more regular exercise’ .
In West Cheshire we set out with some clear and measureable priorities where we wanted to make a difference, here is how we are doing:
Priority 1 - Increased knowledge of physical activity guidelines and benefits in schools:
To date our school information pack has been presented and provided to 93 schools and 744 class teachers, promoting The Daily Mile, how to deliver successfully and the benefits it can bring to the classroom and pupils health.
Priority 2 - Increased daily amounts of physical activity for pupils:
To date we have increased the activity level of every pupil by 15 mins per school day, 3000 additional minutes per child over the school year. That’s a recorded total of 8.1million additional minutes of activity in 2016. We are seeing 760 new and unique activity sessions taking place in schools every week.
Priority 3 - Prevent the persistent rise in the number of children who have excess weight at year 6:
This is very much a longer term ambition we aim to demonstrate. We are working with the University of Stirling to independently evaluate the impact of this initiative locally and add value to their study of the programme in Scotland, which is evidencing a positive impact on this priority area.
Priority 4 - Increased numbers of GP clusters and primary schools working together on obesity prevention:
We have 19 schools currently who have a dedicated contact with a local GP and the Clinical Commissioning Group are taking a lead on ensuring that local network meetings are sharing the key impacts of interventions such as The Daily Mile and how both school and GP Practices can support each other to share these positive messages.
The success and sustainability of this programme is incredibly cost effective, indeed it’s future in West Cheshire a t least will be completely free. By the end of the academic year 2017 our investment into the intervention is estimated to have cost only £2.70 per pupil. Across a pupil’ s school life (assuming start in Reception) this cost is a staggeringly low 40p per pupil, per year!
Case Study – Physical Wellbeing
Ebony (Year 4 Primary School Pupil) has been amazing taking part in the Daily Mile. She had a stroke last summer holiday, leaving her unable to speak, walk or even sit up. Her family and indeed the school community were devastated, worried that she would never lead a normal life again. Her parents have worked so hard with all the medical professionals to ensure that this was not the case, but more importantly, Ebony herself is so motivated to improve that her recovery has been phenomenal.
She has used the Daily Mile since it has been introduced with enthusiasm to aid her recovery. At first she used her wheelchair for part of the mile, however her strength has grown and she is now able to complete the session without it. She is amazing and is setting herself personal goals to improve the distance she can cover in a set time and is even starting to skip and jog a little during the mile. She is thoroughly enjoying it and said that she is very proud of herself for being able to complete the challenge of the Daily Mile after having her stroke. She has only fallen once and despite cutting her knee, her confidence was not knocked and she completed the mile again the very next day. She is inspirational!
Sustainability through quality control of implementation and delivery has been proven over 4 years in Scotland and the last 12 months here in West Cheshire. Active Cheshire is now leading on the scale up of our Daily Mile model across our sub-region, attracting new co-investment and support from health and local authority partners with shared priorities in other localities.
We are supporting and encouraging the development of this model nationally, brokering partnerships between The Daily Mile Foundation and the County Sports Partnership Network, so as a collective CSPs can continue to play a lead role in changing young people’ s lives for the better. Internationally we are collaborating on an information and good practice exercise with the ‘ JOGG Partnership’ in the Netherlands where we have ambitions to share mutually beneficial ways of thinking, ideas and approaches.
Active Cheshire – Daily Mile Lead for Cheshire and Warrington
Contact: Duncan Setterington – Senior Partnership Manager
Email: Duncan.firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07703742233