NOSSP turns 20!


Established in April 2004, North Oxfordshire School Sport Partnership (NOSSP) came into existence as part of the roll out of the national 'Physical Education, School Sport and Club Links' (PESSCL) strategy. Now, 20 years later, NOSSP continues to support schools and individual teachers to develop and deliver high quality PE, school sport and physical activity – driving innovative initiatives that support physical literacy and improvements in young people’s confidence, competence, and self-esteem.


Hosted at Blessed George Napier Catholic School in Banbury, the Partnership originally consisted of 39 Schools. It grew to 55 Schools in September 2006, working with Primary, Secondary and Special Schools from Banbury, Bicester, Kidlington and rural North Oxfordshire.


Since conception, NOSSP has embraced each Government strategy for PE and school sport, with the clear aim of making a real and positive difference to the lives of local young people. When central Government funding for School Sport Partnerships was withdrawn in 2013, steps were taken to maintain the network with schools paying an affiliation fee to keep staff in post and the Partnership moving forwards.


North Oxfordshire School Sport Partnership remains a non-profit making organisation that now works in partnership with 64 schools from across North Oxfordshire. Through networking opportunities, professional development sessions and the deployment of a team of highly motivated specialist Primary PE Mentors & School Sport Coordinators, alongside the coordination, organisation, and delivery of a range of competitions, festivals and interventions as well as the mentoring and deployment young leaders as coaches and officials, there are an increasing number of young people locally who are meeting the Chief Medical Officer recommendations of 60 active minutes every day.


Partnership Manager, Dean Woodham, said “The growth and longevity of North Oxfordshire School Sport Partnership is testament to the commitment and determination of Headteachers and PE Leads in North Oxfordshire to do the best for their young people. Schools are continually striving to improve their students physical and mental wellbeing through play, physical education, school sport and physical activity, and while there is a need for the support and direction that NOSSP can offer, we will continue to do what we can to help the young people in our community”.


The current affiliation agreement for schools ends this academic year, but NOSSP has just published its updated vision and strategy for 2024-2027, with the hope that schools will continue to endorse and engage with the Partnership for a further 3 years.


Ian Horner, Headteacher at Chesterton Primary School and NOSSP Steering Group Representative, has been involved with the Partnership since the beginning and is thrilled at the success and continuation of the network. "I have been involved with NOSSP for 20 years, as P.E. Lead, Class Teacher and Headteacher and it has always played a passionate role in championing P.E. and School Sport across the area, working with all stakeholders, from the most enthusiastic to the least engaged. I really appreciate the way that NOSSP brings people together through physical activity; schools work together and interact, staff are encouraged to develop and, most importantly, young people come together in ways that they may not otherwise have been able to. It has never been more vital to ensure that all children in all our schools lead an active lifestyle and NOSSP gives schools and families the tools to meet this need in the best possible way.

I feel privileged to be part of an organisation that does so much for the pupils in North Oxfordshire schools. If it wasn't for NOSSP, the children's experience would have been much the poorer and I am sure that the legacy of their involvement will last well after they leave our schools. We are very lucky to have this provision in our area”.

In an ever changing and complex landscape there is still much improvement to make to young people’s health and physical activity outcomes, however, with NOSSP’s well established links with Youth Sport Trust, Active Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire Public Health, Cherwell District Council, National Governing Bodies of Sport and numerous community sports clubs and leisure providers from across the Cherwell district and beyond, it means that young people’s access to positive experiences are steadily improving and increasing.


Tom Gubbins, Wellbeing Manager at Cherwell District Council, values the programme design and creation that has been established together with the Partnership. “Our relationship with North Oxfordshire School Sport Partnership is critical in being able to help improve the wellbeing of young people within Cherwell. Working so effectively and easily in partnership has made it possible to offer a wide range of opportunities, with some regarded as national examples of good practice that have had a real impact on young people.

The partnership between use is stronger than ever, and this is down to the excellent organisation of NOSSP and our ability to cooperate on shared goals and areas of need. We’re looking forward to exciting times over the next three years, continuing to help improve young people’s wellbeing”.

The future is brighter, happier, healthier, and more active!



North Oxfordshire School Sport Partnership
Blessed George Napier Sports College
Tel: 01295 264216

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