How It Works
The School Games inspires young people to be physically active for life through positive experiences of daily activity and competition.Continue reading
School Games vision and mission
What is the vision?
The School Games will continue to make a clear and meaningful difference to the lives of even more children and young people.
What is the mission?
Putting physical activity and competitive sport at the heart of schools and providing more young people with the opportunity to compete and achieve their personal best.
Positive Experiences of Competition
The School Games aims to provide every child with a positive experience in an environment where the young person’s motivation, competence and confidence are at the centre of the competition.
The toolkit is designed to support teachers of all children (i.e. primary, secondary, special and alternative provision settings) to carefully consider their part in reducing the risk of a negative experience in sports competitions. It is intended to help you to select, prepare and support more young people to have a positive experience of competition. Click the image above to access the toolkit.
Who We Are
The School Games, which is funded by Sport England National Lottery funding and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, is a government led programme designed to deliver competitive school sport to all young people.
A network of School Games Organisers (SGOs) and School Games County Alliances have worked alongside the Youth Sport Trust in delivering three distinct levels of competition since the Games' inception in 2010 - ranging from intra - inter school activity, in addition to the National Finals, which is supported by National Governing Bodies.
SGOs are funded by the Department of Health and Social Care and the National Lottery through Sport England to deliver the School Games programme for three days a week. They are predominantly hosted by schools to whom the funding is paid. Outside of this, many SGOs also work as teachers, within School Sport Partnerships or in other roles in sport and schools.
This network currently services in excess of 18,800 registered schools who compete across School Games' competitions.
What is the School Games?
The School Games consists of four unique types of competition:
- Intra-School Competition
- Local Inter-School Competition
- School Games County Provision/Offer
- School Games National Finals
What is an intra-school competition?
An intra-school competition is a sporting activity taking place between pupils who attend the same school. For example, this can be in the form of a class vs. class or house activity. These competitions should culminate in an annual School Games Day, or Sports Day, to celebrate a school's sporting success.
What is a local inter-school competition?
A local inter-school competition is a sporting activity taking place between schools from the same area - either as a one-off fixture or as part of a league. These competitions may act as qualifiers for county finals or can be run as developmental competitions or festival events to meet the needs of a local area.
What is a county final?
A county final is a showcase event held either as the culmination of a series of local inter-school competitions or as open entry events, with invitations made by the School Games County Alliance.
Approaches to Competition
In 2018 the Youth Sport Trust (YST) commissioned research into the design and delivery of competitive youth sport domestically and globally, with the intention of using the findings to ensure that youth sport in the UK is inclusive, accessible and fun. The research identified that competitions can be delivered across eight themes.
This resource considers alternative ways to deliver competition to engage more young people based on the eight themes. The resource aims to support practitioners working with young people
School Games Mark
The School Games Mark is a Government led award scheme launched in 2012 to reward schools for their commitment to the development of competition across their school and into the community. Registered schools can apply annually through a short application form which will be verified by their local School Games Organiser (SGO).
Since the inception of the School Games Mark, there have been over 55,000 School Games Mark applications submitted. The School Games Mark is externally validated by a third party organisation.
For the 2020/21 academic year, the School Games Mark is on pause due to the current landscape and demands on schools. We have introduced the School Games Mark Framework as a self-review tool to support schools to reflect on their involvement in the School Games.
The Youth Sport Trust is determined to ensure that there are opportunities for all young people to compete throughout the School Games.
We provide a number of resources to help schools provide a more inclusive sport provision for their pupils, including:
- Inclusive Health Check tool
- Unified specific inclusive sport formats
- Project Ability
The School Games would not be possible without the funding and support of Sport England, as well as our other partners. Nationally and locally the School Games is being delivered through partnerships. The national partnership is made up of:
- Youth Sport Trust (YST)
- Sport England
- Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)
- Change4Life (C4L)
- Department for Education (DfE)
- British Paralympic Association (BPA)
- British Olympic Association (BOA)
The Youth Sport Trust works closely with our partners at Change4Life to deliver and maintain special 'Sports Clubs' for primary schools.
Primary sports clubs have been created to increase physical activity levels in less active seven-to-nine-year-olds, through multi-sport themes. The clubs strive to create an exciting and inspirational environment for children to engage in school sport and, over time, ensure their lifelong participation in sport and physical activity.
These clubs also assist in meeting the Government's plans for childhood obesity and the ambition to have all young people active for at least 60 minutes every day.