Towards Outstanding



Towards Outstanding

National standards for

cross-college sport

and physical


An improvement tool



Towards Outstanding is a set of national standards and a self-assessment tool to share good practice,

demonstrate the value of physical activity and sport to all curriculum areas, and develop and sustain

excellent practice in colleges.

This edition has been updated to reflect the 2015 Ofsted Common Inspection Framework (see

Appendix 1) and ‘Fit for College, Fit for Work, Fit for Life’ (see Appendix 2), the 2015-2020 national

strategy. The work to drive improvement in colleges using sport and physical activity has been ongoing

for several years. The first national sport strategy in 2011, the £25m Lottery investment from Sport

England in 2012, and the first edition of these national standards in 2013, have all helped colleges

develop programmes that have had a lasting effect on education, employment and health outcomes,

with sport making a significant contribution to core college business and the local economy.

In 2016, a new government strategy for sport, ‘Sporting Future’, provides an opportunity to develop

much further.

Towards Outstanding is set within the context of the current national and political drive towards

improving standards across a range of industries and sectors. For further education, this includes:


The expectation of continued quality provision despite ongoing austerity measures.


Ofsted’s emphasis on quality teaching and learning and focus on learner outcomes within the 2015

Common Inspection Framework.


Employer ownership of apprenticeships and the drive to create more high-quality apprenticeships.


The need to address gaps identified in higher level skills and the development of robust higher

vocational qualifications.

“ ”

The Association of Colleges and AoC Sport are committed to supporting colleges to raise

standards and improve the quality of teaching and learning. We are working with a range

of partners to support professional development and drive up standards of provision. Sport

can have a significant impact across college and these national standards complement

existing self-assessment and improvement planning tools.


Martin Doel - Chief Executive, Association of Colleges


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Purpose of the document

Self-assessment framework

Leadership and management


Leadership and volunteering

Community partnerships and facilities

Talent development and support

Mental health and wellbeing

Appendix 1: The Towards Outstanding tool and its

relationship to the 2015 Ofsted framework

Appendix 2: The Towards Outstanding tool and its

relationship to the national strategy for college sport

Links for further reading

“ ”

Sport England is committed to the development of a sporting

habit for life and colleges can play a critical role in cementing

this habit. This can only be done effectively if sport is used

throughout the college as one of the means by which students can

progress, gain knowledge and skills, and develop as individuals.

We fully endorse these standards as a means of helping colleges

to integrate sport into their core business and develop excellent

sporting opportunities for students.

Suzanne Glavin - Strategic Lead for Youth, Sport England

“ ”

Most colleges now offer specialist courses in sport, provide

enrichment sporting activities for all students and actively

promote regular physical activity as part of any student

wellbeing programme. Sport has become a key feature in

colleges because it contributes so much to overall student

success. At AoC Sport we aim to support colleges and their

staff to become excellent in all aspects of sport.

Richard Atkins CBE - Chair of the Board, AoC Sport &

Principal, Exeter College

“ ”

CIMSPA support AoC Sport’s vision of ‘every student

active’. The refreshed Towards Outstanding selfassessment

tool will help improve quality of provision

within further education, attracting the talented to join

our sector, creating a new generation of sport and leisure

professionals who will promote and deliver an active


Tara Dillon - Chief Executive, CIMSPA


Purpose of the document

Towards Outstanding is a set of national standards against which it is possible for college staff to

assess college provision, helping them to identify how sport or physical activity, or links to leisure

industry employers, can support and improve outcomes for students.

The standards are concerned with the impact that sport and physical activity can have on students,

regardless of study programme.

The document is aimed at all heads of department and cross-departmental senior staff. Using the

standards helps college staff produce Self-Assessment Reports (SARs) and cross-college enrichment,

health and wellbeing, physical activity or sport plans. It is intended as a guide only.

Towards Outstanding provides ideas and examples showing how to embed physical activity or

sport within study programmes and quality improvement plans, and use evidence and data within

departmental or overall college SARs. These plans may be strengthened by considering factors such as:


Physical fitness required for work and the value employers place on a healthy workforce.


The positive impact that physical activity, a healthy lifestyle and involvement in sport can have on

personal development, behaviour and welfare, as well as concentration and attainment.


How participation in sport volunteering, leadership, coaching, administration, officiating and

publicity or promotion can improve employability skills and enhance student destinations.


How sport can act as a means of strengthening the student voice.


How sport can bring cross-curricular topics to life through application in community settings.


The positive impact of sport projects on links with employers, community organisations and

industry in sectors such as health, the economy, construction, media and public services.

How to use the document

This document sets out a number of self-assessment statements which you should consider in the

context of your college. Using the self-assessment framework, you will then need to consider to what

extent your college meets each self-assessment statement. A database of further college examples and

a self-assessment tool can be found on the AoC website.

Further guidance of how to embed sport and physical activity can be found in the ‘What works in

schools and colleges to increase physical activity’ document.


Self-assessment framework

Colleges are invited to read the standards and self-assess using the following framework:

Levels for self-assessment


Outstanding college sport

This is established, embedded and integrated practice

at the college resulting in outstanding outcomes. It is

part of a sustainable structure, and there is evidence of

continual refining and further development.

Good practice in college sport

There is established practice at the college resulting

in good outcomes for students. Provision is being

developed and is becoming embedded, sustained and


Developing and improving college sport

There is developing practice at the college in this aspect

and there is a plan in place to improve it further and

help it to become more integrated.

Minimum standard for college sport

Provision is in the early stages of development and

is not yet established or sustainable. Outcomes for

students have not yet been quantified.

Not applicable

This is not applicable to our college or not relevant to

our college context.

{N.B. this will only apply to a few standards; most will be

relevant to all colleges }

Level of


into the



Leadership and management

Definition, scope and evidence

Support from college senior management is essential for effectively embedding cross-college sport and physical activity. College leaders are

responsible for setting the vision for cross-college sport, rigorous self-assessment and professional development processes, the promotion of British

values, and effective safeguarding. For many of the standards in sections 1-5 to be achieved, often the relevant ‘leadership and management’ policies

must be in place. Evidence for this section can be found in college policies, strategies and governance structures.


Ofsted inspection

criteria summarised

An ambitious vision and high


High-quality professional

development, robust

performance management, and

rigorous self-assessment

Self-assessment statements for leadership and management using sport and

physical activity

L&M (i) The principal and senior management team have high expectations regarding the provision of sport and

physical activity across all curriculum areas, and understand the contribution that an active and sporting culture

can make to high-quality teaching and learning and other corporate priorities.

L&M (ii) There is a cross-college approach to the integration of sport. For example, there is a cross-college

strategy or policy relating to sport, physical activity, enrichment, health and/or wellbeing. This policy is

communicated externally with partners and employers as well as internally throughout the college.

L&M (iii) There are effective links and good communication between curriculum areas, leading to cross-faculty

projects to help non-sport students gain additional skills through sport, physical activity or leisure industry

related work.

L&M (iv) College governors are aware of the evidence and links between being physically active and education,

employment and health outcomes for both students and staff. Governors actively support provision and

contribute to a culture of activity.

L&M (v) One lead person at senior level is identified as a contact for external organisations and for driving the

sport or physical activity strategy across the college.

L&M (vi) Professional development and good practice is enhanced by membership of AoC Sport networks, the

Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) and other industry bodies, and

staff have access to appropriate training to ensure their industry knowledge is up to date.

L&M (vii) Staff roles are clearly defined including roles for strategic planning, sport development, recruiting,

training and retaining student volunteers, coaches or activators, and monitoring and evaluation of impact. All

staff understand their roles and are assessed against specific, measurable targets.

L&M (viii) Both internal and external data and benchmarking are included in departmental and college SARs, for

example: Active People data, AoC Sport data, Local Enterprise Partnership data, Local Authority participation

data and ONS health profiles.

The strategic priority of English

and maths

Collaboration with employers and

others to align provision to local

and regional priorities

Promotion of equality, fostering

understanding of differences,

protection from harassment

Preparation of disabled students

to become more independent

Promotion of fundamental British

values of democracy, the rule of

law, individual liberty and mutual

respect and tolerance

Effective safeguarding and

prevention of radicalisation

L&M (ix) Sport, physical activity and health-related initiatives are used as a means by which to embed and

promote literacy and numeracy skills, improving student outcomes in English and maths through the use of

project work.

L&M (x) All curriculum areas are aware of how the leisure industry is relevant to their department and the

potential job roles and opportunities for work experience or placements locally. Non-sport departments use

sport or physical activity as a tool within SARs, improvement plans and lesson planning.

L&M (xi) The college develops a broad sport curriculum with learning programmes that enhance the

employability of their students and can be mapped to the employer-led standards published by (CIMSPA).

L&M (xii) The college understands the economic value of sport in the area, and has a good understanding of the

priorities of sport and active leisure employers.

L&M (xiii) Sport opportunities are fully inclusive and there is a commitment to the development of sport for

underrepresented groups. There is evidence of participation by black and ethnic minority groups, students with

disabilities and women and girls. The impact is measured against national and local benchmarks.

L&M (xiv) Sport or physical activity is used with groups of students with learning difficulties or disabilities, and

staff understand and use the English Federation of Disability Sport “Talk to Me” principles in the Charter for


L&M (xv) Sport or physical activity is a recognised strategic tool used by the college to promote fundamental

British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance, and address

radicalisation as part of the prevent duty.

L&M (xvi) Standards developed by the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) are implemented as part of college

safeguarding procedures and staff are trained in safe practice operating standards.



“Sport matters in a college and

to students because it improves

behaviours and interactions with other

people and personal growth. Without

sport it would be incredibly difficult to

role model the values of the college in

such a clear way.”

Jeanette Dawson - Principal, Bishop

Burton College


(iii) &


City of Bristol College have employed

a ‘Fit for Work, Fit for Life Activator’

funded through Areas of Learning

budgets, with some additional support

from external funding streams. Each

area of learning that buys in receives

a bespoke ‘Fit to Work’ programme for

their students.



Peterborough Regional College

named their College Sport Maker

the ‘Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Champion’ in the annual staff awards

in recognition of the inclusive sport

and physical activity programme

established at the college.


1. Participation: In sport, physical activity,

exercise or active lifestyles

Definition, scope and evidence

This area of work encompasses all physical activity, exercise or sport provision that is delivered either in addition to, or within, the main study

programme. Evidence of learner outcomes can be collected via observations, staff contracts, staff job descriptions and student activity (monitored

through electronic or manual registration systems). The effect on learner outcomes and progression can be demonstrated through quantitative and

qualitative surveys, case studies and by comparing data (such as attendance or success rates) between those that are physically active on a regular

basis, and those who are not involved.

Self-assessment statements that apply across the college / throughout all departments:

1.1 Provision: A diverse and high-quality participation programme is provided, which is responsive to the needs of the whole student

community, inclusive and appropriate for all, regardless of gender, ethnicity or ability levels.

1.2 Skills developed: Participants understand how sport and physical activity equips them with positive behaviours, self-confidence, personal,

social and employability skills, including English, mathematics and ICT skills. There are effective systems for students to reflect and record skills

developed, relevant to future work or higher study.

1.3 Staffing: Delivery staff (e.g. coaches, volunteers and activators) understand how to manage groups, assess the needs of participants, and

relate activity to educational outcomes. Training, experience and qualifications are assessed in line with the Coaching Plan for England.

1.4 Equality: All staff actively promote equality and diversity, through quality delivery (e.g. a mix of both inclusive and discrete sessions),

guidance and materials and where required tackle discrimination, victimisation, harassment, stereotyping or bullying in line with college policies.

1.5 Tolerance and respect: Physical activity or sport sessions are used to increase understanding, encourage tolerance and respect, support

inclusive discussion regarding competition or opposing views, and address radicalisation linked to the college prevent duty.

1.6 Enjoyment: Staff help participants to have an enjoyable and enriching experience; they create a positive, inclusive playing environment and

encourage sustained, regular participation, contributing to learner outcomes.

1.7 Timetabling: Students within each study programme are provided with access to at least one hour per week of enrichment opportunities,

with tutors across the college understanding how increased physical activity contributes to attendance, behaviour and achievement.

1.8 Competition: Competitive sport opportunities are provided which are suitable for different abilities and interests, with the timetabling of

study programmes enabling participation in both intra-college and local, regional and national inter-college competition.


1.9 Monitoring and impact: The college collects evidence of the benefits of physical activity on outcomes for learners and personal

development, behaviour and welfare. A range of evaluation methods, including electronic technology, is used to show comparisons between active

and non-active students and the impact on:

a. The development of self-confidence and employability skills (e.g. communication skills, teamwork, time management, innovation and

problem solving).

b. Social benefits e.g. behaviour, tolerance and respect.

c. Health benefits e.g. sickness absence levels.

d. Commitment to learning, attendance and retention on study programmes (compared to those not engaged in physical activity).

e. Attainment and value added.

1.10 Learner voice: Activities are shaped by regular communication with students, including those with high needs and students with learning

difficulties, regarding the type and format of provision.

1.11 Internal marketing: The college provides students with information, advice and guidance regarding opportunities, while also explaining and

promoting the physical, mental, emotional and social benefits of physical exercise. Students understand how to keep themselves fit and healthy.

1.12 External marketing: Sport and physical activity is included within the corporate marketing plan and the college promotes its involvement

and any success in competition at a local, regional or national level.

1.13 School-college transition: There are strong partnerships with local schools to ensure a participation pathway and continuation of activities

on transition between school and college.

1.14 College-community transition: Active lifestyles and participation outside college are encouraged through signposting to community

activities, as an alternative or next stage of participation, thus maximising the opportunity for life-long engagement.


Cornwall College have worked with the foundation

department to teach maths skills through target-based

games to improve basic adding and subtracting skills.

1.4 &


At NEWVIC, a group with varying disabilities who

were influential among peers became Ability Counts

Ambassadors. They have not only raised awareness

of disability sport within the college but also the wider

community. Their drive to access opportunities has

widened the college’s extra-curricular delivery and

competition opportunities.



All students at East Riding

College are timetabled to

attend one hour of enrichment

per week as part of their study

programme. The activities are

coordinated by the College

Sport Maker.


Six colleges in the North East

have worked with Tees Valley

Sport to develop the 16-19 Tees

Valley Games. The Games are

the culmination of an exciting

programme of intra- and intercollege

sport. The Tees Valley

Local Organising Committee

have worked with the College

Sport Makers at the colleges to

provide sports that the students

are interested in and they can

continue to take part in at

their respective colleges or in

the community at local clubs.

This opportunity caters for the

students who do not usually

represent their college.



Warrington Collegiate has

developed a project with IT and

Media departments to support

the promotion and marketing side

of enrichment while providing

students with project experience.


North Shropshire College’s

College Sport Maker has created

a marketing strategy to maximise

local and regional media as well as

social media channels.


The College Sport Maker at South Tyneside

College delivers football mash-up sessions for

local secondary schools, in exchange for use of

the schools’ 3G facilities for college sessions.


2. Leadership and volunteering

Definition, scope and evidence

Students benefit from developing leadership skills and gaining experience through a range of roles in sport. Examples include leading groups,

organising events, leading or coaching individuals or teams, encouraging others to become active, officiating, volunteering in media or PR and

maintaining facilities. This area of work can be assessed by how the college supports and promotes leadership and volunteering opportunities and

the number and type of opportunities provided. Evidence of learner outcomes can be collected by recording voluntary hours and examining the

relationship with progression data, or comparing data of those involved in volunteer roles against those who are not.

Self-assessment statements that apply across the college / throughout all departments:

2.1 Provision: An established programme of high-quality volunteering, coaching, and leadership opportunities is in place. A variety of settings,

sports and roles are included: administrative, organisational, officiating, promotion and publicity, journalism, coaching and leading groups.

2.2 Work experience: There is a documented work experience policy, approved by senior management, and a designated lead for work

experience. The college supports students to find purposeful and challenging placements across many curriculum areas.

(For further detail, it is recommended that the college undertakes the self-assessment for learning providers set out in the Fair Train Quality

Standard for Work Experience).

2.3 External links: The college reviews and improves deployment opportunities with organisations that provide volunteering opportunities and

recruit volunteers, including: national volunteering organisations, community or charitable organisations with volunteering programmes, schools

and other education institutions, employers, National Governing Body (NGB) activator programmes, and County Sports Partnerships (CSPs).

2.4 Recruitment and diversity: There is an appropriately trained designated member of staff with responsibility for recruiting and supporting

student volunteers. Recruitment is balanced across male and female students, those with a learning difficulty or disability and those from different

ethnic groups.

2.5 Outcomes and skills developed: Student leaders and volunteers understand how the programme has equipped them with positive

behaviours, self-confidence, personal, social and employability skills, including English, mathematics and ICT skills. There are effective systems for

students to reflect and record skills developed, relevant to future work or higher study, through leadership and volunteering.

2.6 Knowledge and development: Student leaders share their knowledge and experience with other student leaders from different

departments and/or other colleges as part of a planned training programme, with links through to regional and national training opportunities for

the most committed and able student leaders or volunteers.

2.7 Training: Training of student leaders is supported by staff but students also take responsibility for their own personal development,

maintaining their own CPD and experience profile.


2.8 Role models: Current and former student leaders are promoted and celebrated across the college, providing current students with

motivational role models. The use of role models contributes to improving attitudes to learning, the development of respect, and informed choices

about career pathways.

2.9 Evaluation: There are effective systems for recording, monitoring and evaluation of both the volunteering hours and the outcomes

of volunteering. The college measures and records the progression rates to higher study or relevant employment of volunteer leaders, with

comparisons made with students that are not involved.


2.3 &


Bridgwater College has developed a high-quality Student Management Team in partnership with Somerset Activity Sports Partnership and

Somerset FA. Students are recruited through an application and interview process and are provided with a range of training opportunities, including

an extensive induction where they receive a resource to log their volunteering hours. During their second year the students mentor the first years,

which enables them to share their knowledge and experience. In addition, students who have performed well in the Student Management Team

have the opportunity to volunteer at larger-scale events such as AoC Sport Regional Tournaments, and previously learners have been selected to join

the AoC Sport National Student Management Team.

2.1 &


Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College’s Student

Sport Management Team are recruited to

support staff in promoting, co-ordinating and

delivering activities and events in the college

and local schools. The team also recruit other

student volunteers to work on specific projects

and help local schools develop their own Student

Management Team.


A group of U19 ESOL students at Milton

Keynes College completed a Level One

Sports Leaders award, which improved

their communication, teamwork and

other employability skills. As part of

the qualification they were required

to volunteer which increased their

engagement with the local community.


As part of their course,

foundation degree sport

students at The Sheffield

College now deliver at least 10

hours of college enrichment

sessions to support the sport

activator programme and

mentor leaders on level three



City College Brighton and Hove promotes positive role models through their hall of fame and careers noticeboards, displaying students who

have left the college following various pathways such as; professional sport, coaching, or higher education and also includes students who

have continued into employment in coaching roles within the college. Each year the college hosts an awards evening to recognise a range of

achievements from academic to sporting success, as well as those who have gone above and beyond with community volunteering. The sport

department works closely with marketing to promote the students’ achievements in sport and volunteering through both internal and external



3. Community partnerships and facilities

Definition, scope and evidence

The relationship between the core college programme and sport provision in the community is critical to improving learner outcomes, for example

through the provision of high-quality facilities and links to community clubs, NGBs, employers and planning authorities. Evidence of good provision

might include staff job descriptions that reference community partnerships, service level agreements with external organisations, evidence of

involvement in networks and external organisations, and progression data of students. Evidence of progression might include data showing how

many students have gained work experience or employment with partner organisations.

Self-assessment statements that apply across the college / throughout

all departments:

3.1 Employer partnerships: There is a ‘clear line of sight to work’; with access to work

experience, apprenticeships, and progression to full employment with leisure providers and

other employers in community sport settings.

3.2 Assessment of progress: Student progress (from different starting points) is assessed

using effective, innovative and industry-related assessment methods. Constructive feedback is

provided to help students improve, and articulate their knowledge and understanding.

3.3 Dual professionals: Specialist vocational teachers and trainers are used and supported

as dual professionals. Teaching staff have regular opportunities to learn from industry

practitioners and develop new skills through mentoring, shadowing, or part time work.

3.4 Active design: College facilities and new-build projects are developed in accordance

with the “Ten principles of Active Design” published by Sport England and supported by Public

Health England. In particular, the college considers safe walking and cycling routes, co-location of

community facilities, active buildings, and local champions (Principles 3, 4, 8 and 10).

3.5 Facility access: A Facility Access Plan is in place, which details partnerships with providers

and a schedule of necessary improvements to ensure on-going access, effective management

and the promotion of equality of opportunity.

3.6 Facility outcomes: Partnerships with local providers are maximised to ensure an

appropriate balance between the use of college sport facilities to generate income, support

community development and achieve educational outcomes.


3.5, 3.8

& 3.10

As part of Exeter College’s fouryear

sport, health and physical

activity plan to serve both college

students and the wider community,

£14million of college and

partnership investment is being

utilised to develop facilities around

the city. This has included building

the Haven Banks Outdoor Education

Centre, in partnership with Devon

County Council, as well as the

£5.9million onsite purpose-built

sports centre. The sports centre has

a multi-functional sports hall with

seating for 500 people, classrooms

and a sports therapy room. The

design of the sports centre makes it

accessible to all.

3.7 Encouraging new students: Programmes taking place within the college sports facilities

are used to encourage community users to become students at the college, to help them realise

their potential and positively re-engage in learning.

3.8 Capital investment: There is capital investment in sports facilities and on-going

reinvestment in maintenance; resulting in high-quality sports facilities that enhance and support

teaching, whilst also providing an engaging and safe learning environment.

3.9 Professional clubs: High-quality facilities are made available to professional clubs to

support training and playing requirements, with mutual benefits gained through agreements that

enhance the student experience.

3.10 External funding: Grant aid and partnership funding are maximised to support internal

budgets for the enrichment programme and extra-curricular sport, resulting in a diverse and

high-quality programme.

3.11 Networks and partnerships: The college creates high-quality formal and informal

partnerships and is actively involved in appropriate sporting, physical activity and health

networks both inside and outside the college sector.



Calderdale College has

created a partnership

with the local council

which enables students

to access the council

facilities across all sites in

Calderdale in their own

time for £1 per session.


3.5 &


Walsall College has created an

onsite football league for local

disability schools. The experience

of playing sport in a fun, safe

environment and meeting staff

and students from the college

has increased recruitment from

these schools.

3.7 &


South Downs College has worked

closely with Havant Borough Council

on their ‘Make a Change’ project which

aims to get young single mums active.

Members of this project have been able

to access heavily reduced cost activities

at the college as part of this partnership.

Moulton College boasts a wide range of high-quality sports facilities which are used for

teaching purposes and are utilised by a range of professional clubs. The Pitsford Sports

Centre has been used by England futsal and hockey squads as a training base and is home

to the Great Britain Para Fencing team, who host many of their training camps on site.

Bishop Burton College works

strongly in partnership with

professional clubs to enhance the

college and student experience. The

college is the full-time home of the

City of Hull Rugby League Academy

and Hull City Tigers Academy. While

utilising the first-class facilities

and providing vital commercial

income to the college, there are

wider benefits in areas such as

student placements, guest lectures,

opportunities for players to

progress to the professional game

and the chance for the college to

develop its rugby league academy

to National League standard, by

attracting community players to the



4. Talent development and support

Definition, scope and evidence

This area focuses on support for talented athletes and providing education opportunities in a flexible manner that meet the needs of the individual.

Colleges might run a programme of support that is specific to a sport, for example academies or flexible timetabling, individual athlete training

support, or work in partnership with a club. Evidence might include codes of conduct used, awards, talent camps, sport performance data and the use

of alumni to inspire current students. The effect on outcomes for learners can be assessed using comparative data between those who have been

involved in specialist programmes and those who have not.

Self-assessment statements that apply across the college / throughout all


4.1 Opportunity: As a result of effective teaching, coaching and provision, students with talent have the

opportunity to achieve their potential and take pride in representing their college, their county, region or nation.

4.2 Outcomes: The college collects evidence that taking part in high-level sport helps commitment to

learning, improves progress, and enhances destination routes. Strategies are in place (e.g. a flexible approach

to timetabling) to ensure there is an appropriate balance between academic and sporting commitments, so that

there are no detrimental effects on teaching and learning.

4.3 Recruitment from clubs: Teaching methods inspire and challenge students who have been released by

professional sports clubs so that they are positively engaged with an alternative educational and career path at


4.4 Depth of learning: Students gain skills, qualifications and experience in their sport in addition to playing

or training: for example refereeing, administration or coaching.

4.5 Individual needs: High-performing athletes are identified on enrolment and their support needs

are discussed and met, via the production of an Individual Player Plan (IPP). Potential high-performing

administrators, coaches and officials are also identified and provided with opportunities to join academy


4.6 Athlete welfare: The college provides effective support for athletes and academy students, such as

mentoring, sports science, nutrition and sports psychology, whilst also monitoring the potential for overplay


4.7 Guidelines for behaviour: A code of conduct exists for coaches and students on academy programmes,

resulting in clear expectations for all parties, students respecting others and providing the opportunity to

reinforce values of citizenship.





College provides

bespoke training

opportunities and

schedules for many

elite athletes from

minority sports, which

compliments local

club activity but also

allows participation in

regional and national


4.8 High-quality delivery: Teaching and coaching is high-quality, (in line with NGB requirements) and staff employ a range of activities that

makes learning interactive, inspiring and enjoyable.

4.9 Regional and national programmes: The college develops and maintains knowledge and involvement in talent programmes (e.g. TASS), and

the latest Sport England and UK Sport policy, investment programmes and advice.


4.5 &


Sunderland College

offers a range of

sports officiating and

coaching courses to

their elite athletes, and

their study programme

includes a 30-hour work

experience placement

alongside professionals,

such as coaches and

physiotherapists, to gain

insight and experience in

the wider sports industry.

Wyke Sixth Form College identifies

elite athletes during open evenings,

interviews and enrolment, and contact

is made with their existing coaches to

design their individual learning plans.

The athletes attend psychological

screenings three times a year with

PhD students from Hull University and

are offered psychological workshops

if identified as needing further

support. A physiotherapist is available

to academy athletes three times a

week for treatment, preparation and

recovery and BTEC sport students

provide sport massage to athletes

before and after fixtures.

4.5 &


At New College Pontefract each elite athlete has an individual

learning plan involving their pastoral tutor and four subject

teachers, in addition to frequent parental contact. College staff

meet termly with the professional clubs that they are linked

with, to monitor students’ academic and practical progress

as well as behaviour. Throughout the year the college uses

a pastoral log which records good and bad examples of

behaviour, work and attitude.


5. Mental health and wellbeing

Definition, scope and evidence

Student mental health and wellbeing is essential for the attainment and retention of students at college and preparing them for employment or

further study. This area incorporates workplace wellbeing, staff and student health, and ensuring the infrastructure is in place to support active and

healthy lifestyles in and around the college. Evidence may include staff and student surveys, intervention outcomes and a reduction in the amount of

sickness absence of staff and students.

Self-assessment statements that apply across the college / throughout all


5.1 Healthy lifestyles: Students are provided with the knowledge of how to keep themselves healthy, both

emotionally and physically, including through exercising and healthy eating.

(For further detail, it is recommended that the college signs up to the Sport and Recreation Alliance Mental Health

Charter to support the use of sport and physical activity to promote wellbeing and good mental health.

5.2 Personal development: Physical activity is used as a tool to improve self-confidence and self-esteem and


5.3 Health for employment: Staff highlight the benefits of participating in physical activity on gaining employment

and the importance of maintaining physical and mental health and wellbeing for work. Students understand the

positive effects of a healthy lifestyle on their career opportunities and progression.

5.4 Tutorial programme: The college tutorial programme incorporates teaching students about the signs,

symptoms and treatment for mental health issues, including the five ways to mental wellbeing.

5.5 Onsite services: The college provides support for health and wellbeing issues and students and staff are

signposted to physical activity opportunities available to them.

5.6 Partnership working: The college has effective partnerships and working relationships with other local

agencies such as the Clinical Commissioning Group and public health organisations to enhance health and wellbeing

support and to signpost staff and students to relevant local services.

5.7 Monitoring and impact: The college is able to evaluate the outcomes of interventions in terms of improving

the mental health of students.

5.8 Employee health and wellbeing: The college has considered how best to achieve maximum return on

employee health and wellbeing, using the workplace wellbeing charter and focussing on the key elements of

Leadership, Culture and Communication.



The College

Sport Maker at

Leyton Sixth

Form College

has produced

a health and

wellbeing tutorial

programme which

is delivered to

all tutor groups.

In addition to

teaching students

about maintaining

their health and

wellbeing, they

are required

to complete a

questionnaire to

reflect on their own

health and lifestyle


5.5 &


Staff at Truro and Penwith

College have the opportunity

to join the ‘Weigh-to-go’

programme, which supports

them in becoming active,

and signposts to regular

activities available as part of

the college’s health, wellbeing

and sport enrichment offer.

They are given access to free

online weight management

tools and offered weekly

weigh-ins to help keep track

of their progress. Of the 18

participants signed up, both

male and female across

varying age ranges, the total

weight loss of the group by

half-term was 4.5 stone and

waist measurement losses

totalled 24 inches.


At City College Norwich

physical activity has been used

as a tool to re-engage NEET

students. The programme

includes completing a

leadership qualification, which

develops communications

skills and self-confidence.


At Barnsley College, the College

Sport Maker is working with referred

students with mental health issues,

devising a physical intervention plan

aimed at getting them back on track

within their course and reducing

anxiety, stress and other mental health



East Norfolk College has worked with

local partners such as the YMCA, East Coast

Community Health Care and the Community

Sports Foundation to educate students on the

signs and symptoms of mental illness while

promoting the benefits that physical activity

can have on wellbeing.




Appendix 1: The Towards Outstanding tool and its

relationship to the 2015 Ofsted framework

The contribution of sport and physical activity to

achieving the criteria set out in Ofsted’s common

inspection framework and FE handbook are outlined

in this section. The following table summarises

the Ofsted assessment criteria under its four main

headings and references the relevant standards from

Towards Outstanding to support the completion of

college SARs.

In assessing the overall effectiveness of a college,

Ofsted inspectors will make four key judgements:


Effectiveness of leadership and management


Quality of teaching, learning and assessment


Personal development, behaviour and welfare


Outcomes for learners

Inspectors will also make a judgement about the

effectiveness of the arrangements for safeguarding.

Inspectors will take account of these judgements for

each type of provision that they may grade and report



16 to 19 study programmes


Adult learning programmes






Provision for students with high-needs


Full-time provision for 14 to 16-year-olds


Ofsted judgement

Leadership and Management

Quality of teaching, learning

and assessment

How sport or physical activity can make a difference

(linked to Ofsted criteria)

Using sport or physical activity as an integral part of college culture can


• Set an ambitious vision.

• Undertake performance reviews, professional development and

performance management techniques including self-assessment.

• Embed English and mathematics through the use of sport as a familiar


• Develop relationships with a range of employers and partners and

extend the destinations of students.

• Promote all forms of equality, fostering understanding and respect,

and support interventions to prevent harassment, bullying and


• Promote British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty

and mutual respect and tolerance.

• Prepare disabled students or those with special educational needs to

become more independent.

• Ensure effective safeguarding, including the prevention of radicalisation.

Increased use of sport and physical activity within study programmes

can help to:

• Inspire and challenge students.

• Provide staff with relevant subject knowledge and promote dual

professionalism across both sport and linked industries.

• Support working relationships between staff and students.

• Support assessment information to plan lessons to ensure all students

make progress.

• Increase the understanding of students, help them to realise their

potential, become more curious and eager to learn.

• Support engagement and communication between staff and parents

and/or employers in relation to students’ progress and standards


• Develop maths, English, ICT and employability skills.

• Promote equality and diversity and help students value difference and

develop tolerance and respect.

Towards Outstanding


• L&M (i) to L&M (iv)

• L&M (vi) to L&M (viii)

• L&M (iii), L&M (ix), 1.2, 2.5

• L&M (x) to L&M (xii), 3.1, 3.11,


• L&M (xiii), 1.4, 1.5, 2.8, 4.7

• L&M (xv), 1.4, 1.5, 2.8, 4.7

• L&M (xii)i, L&M (xiv), 2.4

• L&M (xv), L&M (xvi), 1.4, 1.5

• L&M (i), 1.3, 1.7, 2.1, 2.8, 4.3, 4.8

• L&M (iii), L&M (vi), L&M (x), 1.3,

3.3, 4.8, 1.6, 1.10, 4.6

• 3.2

• L&M (i), 1.3, 2.2, 3.7

• 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.11

• L&M (iii), L&M (ix), 1.2, 2.1, 2.2,


• 2.5, 5.3

• L&M (xiii), L&M (xiv), L&M (xv),

1.4, 1.5


Ofsted judgement

Personal development,

behaviour and welfare

Outcomes for learners

How sport or physical activity can make a difference

(linked to Ofsted criteria)

Sport or physical activity helps students to:

• Be proud, committed, self-confident and self-aware.

• Make positive choices and get independent careers advice.

• Maintain prompt, regular attendance and good behaviour.

• Undertake purposeful work-related learning, work experience.

• Enhance personal, social and employability skills including English, maths

and ICT required to achieve their learning and career aims.

• Explore personal, social and ethical issues through learning and

enrichment activities.

• Understand the risks associated with radicalisation, extremism, forms of

abuse, grooming and bullying including through the use of the internet.

• Understand how to keep themselves healthy, both emotionally and


• Enhance personal and social development, so they understand their

rights in society, becoming thoughtful, caring and active citizens.

Sport or physical activity helps:

• Students to make progress and achieve relevant qualifications, skills

and knowledge which enable them to progress further and achieve high

completion rates.

• Students to undertake work that meets or exceeds requirements of


• Students to move onto positive destinations.

• Disabled students and those with complex needs to gain skills and

progress to become more independent.

Towards Outstanding


• 1.2, 2.5, 4.1, 5.2

• 1.14, 2.8, 4.3, 5.3

• 1.2, 1.7, 4.2, 4.7

• L&M (x), L&M (xi), 2.1, 2.2, 2.3,

3.1, 4.4

• L&M (ix), 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.5, 2.6,

2.7, 2.9, 3.1, 4.4, 5.3

• L&M (xv), 1.4, 1.5

• L&M (xv), L&M (xvi), 1.4, 1.5

• 1.11, 4.6, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.6

• L&M (xv), 1.5, 4.7

• L&M (xi), L&M (xii), 2.5, 3.2 4.2,


• L&M (x), L&M (xi), L&M (xii), 2.2,

2.3, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.4

• 3.1, 4.2

• L&M (xiii), L&M (xiv), 1.1, 2.4



Appendix 2: The Towards Outstanding tool and its

relationship to the national strategy for college sport

In June 2015, AoC Sport launched ‘Fit for College, Fit for Work, Fit for Life’, the national strategy for college

sport and physical activity.

The strategy’s vision is: Every college student participating regularly in sport or physical activity. This vision

is based on the belief that sport and physcial activity are essential components of college life, providing

significant advantages in terms of education, employment and health.

The strategy has two sets of objectives, one for colleges and one for the organisations that work with them.

These objectives, and how they interlink with the standards in Towards Outstanding, are set out in the

table below.


Fit for College, Fit for

Work, Fit for Life theme

Fit for College, Fit for Work, Fit for Life objectives

Education 1. To promote colleges and aid college recruitment

2. To add value and help students progress

3. To increase the attendance and engagement of learners

Employment 4. To develop a range of employability skills and promote character


5. To support economic growth

Health 6. To improve physical and mental health of staff and students,

reducing the costs of sickness absence and treatment

7. To enhance social cohesion

8. To support personal development, behaviour and welfare of


Towards Outstanding


L&M (ii), 1.12, 1.13, 3.7, 3.9, 4.3

L&M (ix), 1.1, 1.2, 1.7, 1.8, 2.5, 2.6,

2.8, 2.9, 4.1

1.7, 1.8, 4.8

L&M (iii), L&M (x), L&M (xi),

L&M (xii), L&M (xv), 1.4,1.5, 2.1 to

2.9, 3.1, 4.4, 4.7, 5.3

L&M (vii), L&M (x), L&M (xi),

L&M (xii), 2.1 to 2.9, 3.1, 3.3, 3.8,

3.9, 3.10, 5.3, 5.8

L&M (ii), 1.1, 1.14, 4.6, 5.1. to 5.8

L&M (xiii) L&M (xiv), L&M (xv), 1.4,

1.5, 4.7

L&M (xvi), 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.8, 2.5,

2.7, 2.8, 4.5, 4.6, 5.1 to 5.7

Fit for College, Fit for

Work, Fit for Life theme

Reduce inactivity: 50% of students

are currently inactive

Sustain regular activity: 50% of

students are currently active but not


Fit for College, Fit for Work, Fit for Life objectives

a. Provide activities that are relevant to the chosen vocation of

inactive students, easy to access, enjoyable and sustainable.

b. Provide a social, interactive, personalised, fun and flexible offer to

encourage activity and keep participants engaged.

Towards Outstanding


L&M (i) to L&M (iv), L&M (xiii),

L&M (xiv), 1.1 to 1.14, 2.1, 5.3

L&M (i) to L&M (iv), L&M (xiii),

L&M (xiv), 1.1 to 1.14, 2.1

Celebrate and support sport: 10% of

students are currently studying or

performing in sport

c. Promote successful role models, support talented performers and

provide appropriate competition and talent pathways.

Cross-cutting objectives d. Promote a cross-college culture of activity

e. Increase the quality and quantity of indoor and outdoor space

f. Provide a workforce of activators, administrators and motivators

L&M (i), 1.8, 2.8, 4.1 to 4.9

L&M (i) to L&M (xvi)

3.4, 3.5, 3.6 and 3.8

1.3, 2.1 to 2.9, 4.4


Links for further reading


Database of college examples


What works in schools and colleges to increase physical activity


English Federation of Disability Sport’s (EFDS) Charter for Change


Fair Train Quality Standard for Work Experience


Sport England’s Active Design


Sport and Recreation Alliance Mental Health Charter


Five ways to mental wellbeing


Workplace wellbeing charter


2015 Ofsted Framework


National Strategy for College Sport




© AoC Sport 2015

2-5 Stedham Place

London WC1A 1HU

T: 020 7034 9900



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