How are the schools chosen?

In May 2015, all mainstream state secondary schools in Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire which were above the median of the local Pupil Premium Indicator were identified and subsequent invitations were sent out to take part in the study. Phase 1 – the Pilot – was carried out in one school in Wiltshire. Phase 2 – the feasibility trial – will be carried out in three schools from each local authority area (six schools in total)

The six Phase 2 schools will be divided randomly into four intervention schools, to host the PLAN-A peer-supporter programme, and two comparison schools to carry on as normal.

Why don’t all the schools get the PLAN-A peer-supporter programme?

The division into ‘intervention’ and ‘comparison’ schools means that two-thirds of the schools that signed up will get the PLAN-A peer-supporter programme. This is because we need to test how physically active the girls in the intervention schools are compared with girls who do not take part in the PLAN-A intervention. The girls in the comparison schools are just as important to our research as the girls who receive PLAN-A.

Why Year 8 girls only?

Research shows that adolescent girls tend to be less physically active than boys. If girls with low-activity levels were more active, it might improve their physical health, confidence and self-esteem.

As girls enter their teenage years, it seems that participation in physical activity becomes less appealing for a number of reasons. Girls who are very good at sports tend to remain involved, but the majority of girls lose interest. This is a critical time as girls of this age are starting to make decisions that will affect them for the rest of their lives.

What happens to the data collected? Is it safe?

We take data protection very seriously. The information we collect on all the girls is stored securely. All questionnaires and computerised data are stored against an ID and not against the girls’ names. This means that when the data is analysed it is anonymous, so the researchers will not know which child the information belongs to.

The data will not be passed onto schools or any other organisation (eg NHS, Local Authority). It will only be available to the researchers directly involved in analysing the data.

My child is new to a school hosting PLAN-A, can she join in?

We cannot take on new participants once the first data collection has been carried out (this will happen in September/October 2015). That first data collection gave us the baseline information which we will use to measure whether the PLAN-A peer-supporter programme has any effect on the girls’ physical activity levels.

When and where will the training take part?

You will receive an information sheet from your school providing all of the details you need for the training.

Some key things to remember are that:

  • you do not need to wear school uniform
  • we will provide your lunch and refreshments
  • get to school for the normal time
  • you will be back in school for the normal end of day time

Please contact Kate Banfield if you have any more questions about the training: 0117 331 1012

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