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A boy practices his judo, while his friends look on

Liaising with schools

There's lots to think about when you're searching for somewhere to host your activity.

The perfect place needs to be accessible by everyone, have everything you need... and be available, when you need it, at a rate you can afford. 

Could your local school have everything you need?

We've buddied up with Active Gloucestershire to help you think through the issues.

Here's our advice on what to ask the school - and what they might ask for, in return... 

Liaising with schools Q&A

  • Things to ask the school about


    • What types of facilities are on offer?
    • How accessible are the facilities for people with disabilities or long-term health conditions?
    • What is the availability? 
    • How much will it cost (including VAT) and what are the payment terms? 
    • Can you block-book facilities, or is usage arranged on a weekly or rolling basis?
    • Who is responsible for hiring out the facilities and what are their contact details?
    • Will you need to put equipment away before you leave or lock up?
    • Will you have access to any ancillary facilities like toilets, changing rooms, car parking or a first aid room etc?
    • Can equipment be stored at the school?
    • How secure is the storage?
    • What is the process for cancelling sessions?
    • Is there a minimum notice period before charges are incurred?
    • How will you access the facilities? Which entrance will you use? 
    • Who will be responsible for opening and locking the facilities?
    • Will there be a staff member on site? If not, who do you contact in the event of an emergency?
    • Are there times of the year when facilities aren’t accessible for example, during exam periods or school holidays?
    • Is there an induction process and what will this include?
    • Is there a process for reporting any accidents, injuries, illnesses, breakages, or spillages?
    • Can you access a copy of the school’s emergency procedures and/or Emergency Action Plan?
    • Are there any Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) on site that you can access? 
    • Can you get copies of the school’s health and safety and wellbeing procedures?This could include:
    • Health and safety policy.
    • Risk assessments.
    • Safeguarding policies and procedures.
    • Insurance policies.
    • Who is responsible for any injury or damage that may occur while using the facilities?
    • Can you advertise your organisation’s activities at the school?
    • Check all the requirements a school might ask of you e.g. fire warden training.
    • Does the school have any expectations about you extending your offer to benefit their pupils, such as running after-school sessions, offering coaching or holiday programmes etc? Is this achievable?
    • What are the terms and conditions of use/hire and can you meet them all? What form of agreement will be put in place?
  • Things the school may ask you about


    • Which facilities would you like access to, when and how long for? Is there any flexibility on this?
    • How will you pay for hiring the facilities (e.g. will this be bank transfer, cash or cheque)?
    • How long do you intend to use the facilities for?
    • Are you interested in bookings throughout the year or seasonally?
    • If the school will be giving out keys or codes to access the facilities or storage facilities, who will be responsible for managing this from your organisation and how will you do this?
    • How is your organisation structured and who is responsible for running your organisation (e.g. chairperson or secretary)?
    • Who will be the main point of contact for the school should any issues arise?
    • Will there be a trained first aider present during all sessions? Do you have your own first aid box?
    • Are all the required people DBS checked if working with children, young people, or vulnerable adults?
    • How will your organisation ensure that all participants and volunteers are familiar with the health and safety processes and procedures that the school has in place?
    • What policies and procedures do you have in place and can share with the school? For example Safeguarding policy, Risk assessments, Health and safety policy and Insurance policies. 
    • Who from your organisation will be responsible for reporting any accidents, injuries or illnesses, breakages and spillages to the school and completing any required paperwork?
    • What systems do you have in place for incidents?
  • How to present your case to the school


    Think what can you offer them

    Think about whether you could run after-school sessions, offer coaching, taster sessions or holiday programmes if you have the capacity to do so, as added value for the school.

    Look at their values

    We recommend looking up the school’s vision, mission, values and aims on their website and explaining any of these that your club share.

    Create a partnership

    You may want to draw on what you can offer the school and your commitment to being a trustworthy and reliable partner.

    • What benefits does your club or group offer to the local community? Who benefits from participating or volunteering at your organisation?
    • Does your club / group currently engage any children, young people or families from the school? What can you do to extend your offer to benefit the school community?
    • What makes your club or group stand out over others the school may be considering hiring facilities out to?

    Provide your contact details

    Be prepared to give contact details for someone that will be present at all sessions like a coach or instructor and someone who is responsible for running your organisation, if these are different people.


Ask about AEDs

Around 60,000 people in the UK experience sudden cardiac arrest in the community every year. Sadly, only 1 in 10 survive. Acting effectively within the first minute can treble someone’s chances of survival.

Access to an automated external defibrillators (AED) can make all the difference.

Many schools will have an AED on their site, but might have different procedures for how a community user group can access it in an emergency.

This can vary from:

  • A school not allowing community user groups to access their AED.
  • A school allowing access in an emergency, but only through a member of staff.
  • A school allowing access to community user groups, by sharing necessary access details e.g. where the AED is stored, any relevant security codes etc.
  • A school allowing full public access to the AED by storing it externally, such as in a cabinet fixed to an outside wall.

It's good practice to find out about a school’s procedures and keep contact details for emergencies.

Find out more from UK Coaching