Fit to Study has recruited 100 state-funded secondary schools from within a radius of Oxford.
The project is focusing on Year 8 pupils during the academic year 2017/18. The main study is running from September 2017 to July 2018. Schools have been randomly assigned (by NatCen Social Research) to deliver their usual lessons or integrate new PE activities into their programme. All schools are taking part in the assessment sessions, and will receive £500 after the final assessments.
Although exact details of the intervention have only been provided to schools selected for that part of the study, we can say that it involves ~20 minutes of prescribed activities that can be delivered within 2hrs of PE lessons per week (i.e. 10 minutes per hour of PE). It has been designed to be incorporated easily into normal PE lessons, not to change the core content or curriculum of PE. PE teachers (intervention schools only) will complete a lesson log for each lesson. No additional facilities or materials are needed, although PE teachers (intervention schools only) will have attended a 1-2hr training session on how to deliver the intervention.
Brain Imaging Sub-Study
In addition, the University of Oxford is conducting a sub-study with a small number of pupils from a subset of schools. This is an optional part of the project and is subject to separate written / informed consent from the pupils’ parents/guardians. This involves MRI brain scanning at the Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain, as well as additional fitness and cognitive tests.
NatCen Social Research will be carrying out an Independent Evaluation of the Fit to Study programme.