SASSOT Updates

Wednesday 9th January 2019


Chair Update


Dear All,

First of all I want to wish you all a happy and active new year.

The team at SASSOT have had a busy period keeping up with the implementation of the Place Based Approach we are using with our key partners, whilst simultaneously coping with the Performance Improvement Framework established by Sport England.  The “Review” phase of the Framework was just before Christmas; it went well and we are waiting for the formal report and the final assessment documentation. However, I think it’s safe to say that the review did not reveal anything that we were unaware off, which is a demonstration of the team’s understanding of the current situation.

As Chair I want to go record to thank the team for their substantial contribution to what was a demanding two days. Board members were also involved in the review event, and I am grateful to them for their contribution and continuing support.

There are many challenges ahead however, we are now able to consider our longer term future in order to ensure that we have the right brand and effective communication channels. This will help to further encourage physical activity throughout our large and complex sub region. This is a big ask and I am sure that together, we can make a difference. This will require continuing effort, energy and collaborative leadership in order to ensure that we are successful in our mission.

I look forward to the new year with confidence and gratitude.

Malcolm R Armstrong, Board Chair


SASSOT Marketing & Communications Strategy


SASSOT has recently developed a new Marketing & Communications Strategy that will support the implementation of SASSOT’s Strategy 2018-2021. Aligned to our organisational priorities, seven clear measurable marketing outcomes have been developed. These outcomes include up-skilling the workforce, developing marketing messaging and campaign development as part of our PBA work, advocating the use of ‘Social Marketing’ principles, and raising awareness of the impact of interventions at a local, regional and national level.

Another key strand of this strategy is to support the sport and physical activity ‘Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG)’ gap that often occurs within local communities. Working with our key partners this is a vital piece of work that will support residents to better understand their ‘local activity offer’ with the aspiration of developing an activity finder that will effectively utilise open data across the county. SASSOT has initiated the scoping of this project and has is also encouraging local providers to ‘open’ their data.

Topic of the Month


Each month SASSOT will be profiling and discussing pertinent topics, often linked to national campaigns or awareness weeks. We will be discussing some of the issues that we face locally and would like to showcase some of the fantastic projects and interventions that our local partners are implementing. Next month will see us focusing on mental health of both children and adults whilst March will look to focus on women/girls being active, aligned to International Women’s Day and Sport England’s fresh look of the ThisGirlCan campaign #FITGOTREAL. If you have any projects or individual’s stories that we could share as part of these topics we would love to hear from you.


Please contact:

Naomi Bird
Insight & Communications Manager
07800 619843


Insight & Evaluation


SASSOT has been working on several different insight projects primarily linked to our PBA work. This has involved desks-based data collection and analysis often followed by community consultation, primarily using social media. SASSOT is also currently working with Tiller Research to develop an evaluation framework that will help to provide a clear and consistent process to our evaluation work.

SASSOT also plans to offer a series of insight workshops to local partners to share our learning and develop knowledge across the network. The suggested themes below have initially been identified and I would welcome any feedback as to whether you would find themes useful as well as any additional suggestions.

1. Defining the ‘issue’ / collating the evidence (Applying logic models / accessing data sources)

2. Selecting & implementing effective consultation (Research methodology / Question development)

3. Applying effective monitoring and evaluation (Defining the outcomes / Selecting the measurements)


Please contact:

Naomi Bird
Insight & Communications Manager
07800 619843


Active Lives Children and Young People Survey Results


In December 2018, Sport England published the first results (official statistics) of the Active Lives Children and Young People survey. The survey was conducted by Ipsos Mori on behalf of Sport England and Sport Across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent (SASSOT) administered the survey locally across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

The survey is the most comprehensive insight into how children in England are taking part in sport and physical activity both in and out of school, drawing on the views of 130,000 children and young people. Children and young people were also asked questions about their motivation levels and this data will be published in March 2019.

The data will give anyone working with children aged 5-16 key insight to help understand children’s attitudes and behaviours around sport and physical activity.

Each term, a number of schools were randomly selected to take part in the survey, with the aim of getting 100,000 children and young people in Years 1 to 11 to complete it each academic year.

The survey covered measures of children’s activity levels, attitudes to sport and physical activity, swimming proficiency, wellbeing, self-efficacy and levels of social trust.

With a sample of this size, Sport England were able to produce some estimates down to local authority level. This means the results will add to the local data and insight places have that helps shape and influence local priorities as well as inform government policy on the Primary PE and Sports Premium and Childhood Obesity Plan. Compiled on behalf of the Department for Education, the Department for Health and Social Care and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the survey will run on an annual basis.

Results for the first year of the survey can be found on Sport England’s website here.

Some Local Authorities may find that they have a very small sample size and will receive very little or no data at all, this is due to an insufficient number of responses being received from schools within that area. This is why it is important that we get as many schools that are selected in Staffordshire to take part.

In the words of Sport England CEO, Tim Hollingsworth, “the results tell us that what is currently being done to support [children and young people] is not enough and change is required.”  He is calling  for, “a national focus on the health and wellbeing of our nation’s children and for the whole system to be united in delivering change”.

Given that attitudes towards sport and physical activity are often shaped by experiences in childhood, the findings are important because they offer key insight for anyone working with children.


The key findings are:


  • Around 3million children (43.3%) lead active lives, doing an average of 60 or more minutes of physical activity a day.
  • Of the group of active children, only the most active 1.2m (17.5% of total) are meeting the CMO guideline of 60+ minutes of activity a day, every day of the week.
  • Just over 2.3 million children and young people (32.9%) are less active which means they do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day.
  • A further 1.7m (23.9%) are fairly active, doing between 30-59 minutes of physical activity a day.

It shows that children from the most affluent families are more active than those in the least affluent families.

  • 39% of children in the least affluent families do less than 30 minutes of activity a day compared with 26% of children from the most affluent families.
  • 77% of children can swim 25 metres unaided by the time they leave primary school.  However, 86% of children from the most affluent families can swim 23m unaided compared to only 42% from the least affluent families.


Other findings include:


  • There is not a lot of difference in the amount of sport and physical activity that takes place inside school, compared to activity levels outside of school, so both have a critical role to play. 28% of children are active for at least 30 minutes per day in school while 22% do so outside of school.
  • Activity levels peak at the end of primary school to the beginning of secondary school, but no age group reaches a majority of children doing the recommended levels of 60 minutes per day, every day.
  • The type of activity preferred changes as children get older. ‘Active play’ such as tag or scootering is the most popular form of activity for younger age groups, with team sports growing in popularity as children get older. By school years 7-8 team sports are the most popular and remaining so through to age 16.
  • There is a gender divide between activity levels of boys and girls. Boys are more likely to be active every day than girls – 20% (boys) versus 14% (girls). This rift increases as girls get older, with a large gap opening from the end of primary school (years 5-6).


What happens next?


Understanding the barriers, motivations and attitudes of young people towards sport and physical activity is a key part of providing solutions that meet their needs. That’s why Sport England will be releasing a second report due in March 2019, highlighting children’s attitudes to sport and physical activity.


If you would like more information on the Active Lives Children and Young People survey, then please contact:


Camilla Denham-White
Youth Sport and Events Officer
01785 619694


Free Level 2 Qualification in Sports Leadership Available


Sport Across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are running a Level 2 Qualification in Sports Leadership which is free! (Terms and conditions apply).

The qualification is nationally recognised and enables successful learners to lead groups of people in sport/activity, under indirect supervision.


Find out more here


For more information, please contact:

Camilla Denham-White
Youth Sport and Events Officer
01785 619694


SASSOT led Case Study – Local Care Home Residents have a blast with Boccia!


SASSOT has supported local care home activity coordinators at Blacklake Lodge Residential Care Home in Meir Heath to improve their physical activity offer.

Through Sport Across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent’s ACCESS Grant, the care home’s activity coordinators have received Boccia delivery training and the equipment, which has enabled them to offer a weekly activity within the home.


Read the full article here


David Richards
Communities and Insight Officer
07800 619693