ABOUT THE PROGRAMME
The Change4Life Primary School Sports Club programme is funded by the Department of Health and managed by the Youth Sport Trust. The clubs were introduced into primary schools in 2011/12 and aim to increase the physical activity, health and wellbeing of less active 7-9 year olds through the provision of fun multi-sport themes and healthy lifestyle activities. SPEAR’s evaluations of the primary programme have consistently demonstrated that Change4Life Clubs can be effective mechanisms for increasing physical activity levels among less active primary children. Through provision of a safe space to learn and play, the opportunity to contribute to club delivery and encouragement of small steps toward increasing activity levels, the clubs have helped less active children build the competencies, confidence and resilience they need to be healthy and active throughout the lifecourse. The success of the Change4Life Primary School Sports Clubs has resulted in additional funding to expand the programme as a central part of a broader healthy lifestyle offer in schools. This is supported by the development of a hub of expertise focused in the areas of greatest health inequalities (priority areas) to support and share effective practice among schools and local authority Health and Wellbeing boards.
ABOUT THE EVALUATION
SPEAR was commissioned from October 2013 to March 2015 to conduct a third, successive evaluation of the Change4Life Primary School Sports Club programme. In October 2014, SPEAR produced an Interim Report including impact and delivery insights and progress and planning for the primary evaluation. SPEAR also recommended inclusion of a lifetime impact assessment to provide additional value to the Final Report findings and the project end date was subsequently extended to May 2015. This Final Report both supplements and supersedes the Interim Report. SPEAR’s current evaluation of the Change4Life Clubs reflects both the changing context and priorities of the primary programme and, through a systematic, controlled experimental evaluation, provides the robust evidence base necessary to support and further the programme as it develops into the future. The 2015 Final Report presents a lifetime evaluation of the programme to date. Drawing together extant data from SPEAR’s 2011/12 and 2012/13 (2011-20133 ) evaluations with new data collated across 2013/14 and early 2014/154 (2013-20155 ), this report focuses on the lifetime impact of the clubs in key areas, namely physical activity, health behaviours and wellbeing. The report shows how delivery has evolved to address programme aims, discusses challenges faced embedding clubs as a sustainable part of schools’ healthy lifestyle offer and considers preliminary evidence of the impact of the new support framework in priority areas. Data informing this report is drawn from the survey returns of over 7,500 children participating in more than 500 Change4Life Clubs and from just under 500 children in 15 control schools. Survey completions from over 2,000 club deliverers and SGOs, telephone interviews with 39 stakeholders and data from 20 site visits complements and triangulates the experimental data allowing the experiences and perspectives of a broad range of stakeholders to be presented. Key messages are summarised at the start of each section (and in the Headlines section on pages 2-5). The report is divided into three substantive sections: Who participated? What worked? and What did the clubs look like? The Influence of the Change4Life Brand is addressed and Recommendations for the programme are presented.