In 2012 Moseley School underwent a remodelling of the site as part of the DfE Building Schools for the Future Programme. Unfortunately this process involved some loss of indoor PE teaching spaces and changing rooms. The school decided to enhance this capital investment by applying for a Sport England Inspired Facilities grant of £450k towards an additional sports hall.
We feel that schools have a moral purpose to create opportunities for the community and the school to come together
Moseley School contributed £1.55m to the project which also involved connecting up existing sports buildings to form a new Sports Centre complex.
During this period, arrangements were in place for Birmingham City Council to withdraw from managing community leisure use at the school as it had become less viable for them. This transfer was delayed and the school eventually took over the management in March 2015 which coincided with the opening of the new sports complex.
- 2 x Sports Hall – 4 badminton court sized.
- Large Dance Studio – accommodating 50 people
- Fitness Suite – with 26 stations plus free weights and functional training room
- Full size All Weather Pitch – sand dressed
- Cricket Pitch, Nets, Pavilion and outdoor changing
- MUGA – 4 Tennis Courts but no floodlighting.
Type of community users
Moseley School have continued to work with existing clubs and established new partnerships as a result of the capital funding. South Birmingham Volleyball have relocated to the school after their technical requirements for national league standard courts were incorporated into the new sports hall design.
“Our Community Sports Team are integrated into our school and work closely with the PE staff.”
Badminton and Netball Clubs also use the new sports hall on a regular basis along with a Cricket Academy. The older sports hall is mainly used by 5 aside groups. The School Gymnasium is block booked by a Cheerleading group for six nights per week which brings in a significant income.
The Health and Fitness Centre is used by an NHS weight management programme and women only session are also held in addition to membership drop in sessions. The community sports centre team also plan to deliver their own programme of fitness classes in the dance studio.
The school has recently become a Be Active Plus centre which means it can host GP referral sessions on behalf of Birmingham City Council.
Moseley School employ a full time Community Sports Facilities Manager and a Deputy Manager, who share the duty management during community hours. There is also a team of three Fitness Instructors, and two casual sports centre staff.
The Community Sports Centre Manager is line managed by the Assistant Head who is from a PE background and draws links between the community programme and the PE curriculum. The School Account monitors the finances and the School Business Manager was responsible for writing the Sport England funding application and was involved in recruiting the new community team.
Making it work
The decision to connect all the sports buildings together with a ‘street’ has proved particularly successful for both curriculum and community use. The sports facilities are zoned and metered separately making it easier to keep track of energy costs. The main entrance to the sports centre has a reception desk and large foyer area but unfortunately there is no pedestrian route from the new community car park to this entrance. As a result, community users often access the centre using the rear entrance which is access controlled and has no reception area so this has at times caused some security issues.
The new Sports Hall has a multi-media cupboard with a touchscreen suspended on the wall. This interactive screen can be utilised with a range of devices and is ideal for analysing performance which made it a big selling point for the elite clubs as well popular in curriculum time. The hall has been future proofed with an opportunity to add a viewing gallery and mezzanine classroom at a later date.
The new sports hall has bleacher seating for performances, but due to the polyurethane sports flooring it requires a protective floor covering to be put down before the seating can be pulled out, which makes the process time consuming. The sports centre also has two PE classrooms which are popular for community coaching and training courses.
The Head Teacher was very keen for the school to take on community use once leisure withdrew as he recognised the benefits this brought to the students. However the Head was financially risk adverse and wanted to operate a community programme using minimum staffing.
Various income forecasting was carried out with the support of Birmingham School Community Use (SCU) Team to ensure the best operational model was chosen which enabled community use to flourish without taking the school into deficit. There is a flat rate fee for all types of community users.
The Community Sports Facilities Manager works closely with the School Accountant who provides monthly reports and income projections. The Sports Centre community programme has a separate bank account but the school are still considering if this is the best approach as the community staff salaries are paid from the main school bank account and sometimes the PE and Community staff share the purchase of equipment.
Income from community use covers the cost of staffing and running costs and the Community Sports Facilities Manager has KPIs relating to income targets.
The school have recently invested in an online booking software called ‘ Sports Booker’ which enables them to take bookings online, send booking reminders, email invoices and take online payments. The system is bespoke and is cloud based so customers can view the status of their booking and any outstanding fees.
The system also allows the school to upload their own terms and conditions which customers are required to tick a box to agree to. There is no contract for the software, and is paid via a monthly, rolling subscription.
The community staff at Moseley School have the same uniform as the PE staff and the community noticeboards are branded in the same way as the school noticeboards to reaffirm the integration of curriculum and community activity.
Community sport is seen as an important vehicle to break down cultural and language barriers and to increase parental engagement. The school is particularly committed to increase healthy lifestyle opportunities which are bespoke for the local community it serves. For example, women only fitness sessions were introduced particularly aimed at Muslim women – the team learnt that playing background music during the session was culturally unacceptable and since making this change membership has increased.
By employing its own staff, the school has also been able to review existing arrangements and improve the links to students. For example, Attock Cricket club have used the site for some years but now have a partnership agreement with the school which includes a commitment to recruiting Moseley students to the club.
The school unfortunately do not have a sinking fund for their All Weather Pitch so are exploring funding opportunities to refurbish it.
- The handover from Leisure Services was a difficult process, information sharing was limited and originally the TUPE of staff was planned. However the school are now pleased with the operational model they have taken forward
- Writing and managing the external funding was a challenge for the Business Manager who had to allocate large chunks of time to complete the necessary paperwork.
- Bringing the community into school has enabled Moseley school to educate and inform those community groups about the work of the school
- It has also provided a catalyst to establishing new sporting partnerships that have and continue to increase student participation in sport
- The community programme has supported the school in promoting and educating their young people about healthy living.
- Give your community staff time to get to know the PE staff, and local sporting networks before they start operating
- Employ someone who is incredibly flexible
- Think about the cultural needs of your particular target groups
- Forecast your income and develop a business plan with a planned review cycle (see Business plan on resources page).
James Barsby, Community Sports Facilities Manager, Moseley School
|Type: Secondary Community||Gender: Mixed|
|Age Range: 11-19||Size: 1300|
|Location: Moseley School is located in a suburb of Birmingham and serves a large catchment of over 71 feeder primary schools. Two thirds of students are male and 27 different home languages are spoken by students at the school.||Management Model: Direct management by the school who have taking over the management of community use after the withdrawal of the local authority leisure services.|
|Location: Moseley School is located in a suburb of Birmingham and serves a large catchment of over 71 feeder primary schools. Two thirds of students are male and 27 different home languages are spoken by students at the school.
Management Model: Direct management by the school who have taking over the management of community use after the withdrawal of the local authority leisure services.
No. of different groups (clubs/ organisations) that use the site: 58 split across cricket, netball, football, softball, roller derby, volleyball and badminton. Average no. of hours per week which are booked for community use: 70 Average no. of community users per week: 800 No. of new user groups since September 2014: 20