Opening School Facilities for Community Use Research

5th March 2020

We are working with our colleagues in Tyne and Wear Sport on an exciting and innovative research project to develop community use of school facilities across the North of Tyne Combined Authority.

The joint research project has been established to identify the barriers that schools across the North of Tyne area face in opening their facilities for community use outside of the school day.  In addition to identifying barriers, the project will also establish common success stories and best practice from those schools that already successfully provide their facilities for use to serve the needs of local communities.

Would your school like to be involved in the focus groups?

We have commissioned Active Solutions to undertake the research with schools between March and August 2020.  Based in the North East and comprising of NE Youth, the Community Fitness Network and Three Sixty Degrees, the partnership brings a combined wealth of professional experience and skills of working across the education, youth, sport, physical activity, health and community sectors.

We are looking for schools to be involved in the focus groups across the North of Tyne are which will be part of phase 1 of the research project.  Focus groups will take place as follows:

  • Monday 9th March, 2.30 – 5.30pm – St Mary’s C of E First School, Berwick
  • Tuesday 10th March, 3-:00 – 6:00 pm – Wentworth Leisure Centre, Hexham
  • Wednesday 11th March, 2.30 – 5.30pm – Linskill Centre, North Shields
  • Monday 16th March, 2.30 – 5.30pm – Stakeford and Bomersund Sports and Social Club, Stakeford
  • Tuesday 17th March, 2.30 – 5.30pm – St John the Evangelist Church, Kingston Park

This is an opportunity for schools to join with others from across Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle and contribute greater detail through facilitated discussions around identifying the key challenges and common success factors in schools opening up their facilities for community use for the benefit of all.

We are extremely keen to have a diverse representation of schools in order to offer greater perspective on both generic intelligence and specific insight relevant to sector, governance and location.

Who should attend the focus group from your school?

We realise that schools are incredibly busy and committed to day to day and strategic delivery but we would like to positively encourage schools to send two representatives representing both senior management and operational staff, or at least for those attending to have a clear and agreed understanding of their school’s position and aspirations.

How to book your place

We have a limited number of spaces available at each event. To book and secure your school’s place at one of the focus groups please visit

Here, you will find more detailed information regarding the focus groups and action research opportunities as well as case studies highlighting best practice community use of school facilities and additional information around the wider agendas that Sport England and the Northumberland Sport and Tyne & Wear Sport Active Partnerships feel this work will contribute to.

Schools involvement in the focus groups will also afford your school greater detail as to how they can become involved in our “Action Research” phase of the project between April and August 2020 and directly benefit from being supported to plan and implement a sustainable business model.

Further information

Further information on the project can be found at or by contact Gail Ballance, Children and Young People Health and Wellbeing Strategic Lead on 07966 324405 or via email at

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