Condition category
Not Applicable
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting
Publication status

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Physical Education (PE) can play a large role in helping children do better at school. Research has shown that PE has a positive effect on the brain and can improve cognitive (mental) performance both immediately and in the long-term. The “Fit to Study” is a PE programme targeted at Year 8 pupils. This programme was designed to optimise the benefit of PE for brain function, and involves 20 minutes of certain activities per week. The aim of this study is to assess the impact that the “Fit to Study” programme has on academic performance in Year 8 pupils at the end of the year.

Who can participate?
Year 8 pupils attending schools in England.

What does the study involve?
Participating schools are randomly allocated to one of two groups. Those in group one receive the “Fit to Study” programme. This consists of training PE teachers on how to adapt their PE lessons to include the certain activities that are aimed to improve brain function . The programme is then included in the regular PE lessons for students. Those in the second group continue with their regular PE lessons. Participating students are followed up using their maths scores at the end of the school year.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Participants may benefit from participating in physical education that optimizes brain function and academic achievement. There are no notable risks with participating as the activities are deemed as safe and age appropriate.

Where is the study run from?
This study is being run from Oxford Brookes University (Oxford) and is taking place in schools in the West Midlands and the South of England (UK).

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
January 2017 to July 2018

Who is funding the study?
1. Education Endowment Foundation (UK)
2. Wellcome Trust (UK)

Who is the main contact?
Dr Fatima Husain

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Fatima Husain


Contact details

NatCen Social Research
35 Northampton Square
United Kingdom
+44 207 549 8508

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number

Evaluation of Fit to Study

Study information

Scientific title

Randomised controlled trial of Fit to Study, an intervention to optimise the benefit of PE for brain function in order to raise attainment, delivered to 12-13-year-old pupils


Study hypothesis

Pupils in schools implementing Fit to Study will have better educational (maths) attainment than equivalent pupils receiving business-as-usual PE lessons in year 8.

Ethics approval

The University of Oxford Ethics Committee, 20/01/2017, ref: R48879/RE002

Study design

Interventional two-arm cluster (school-level) randomised controlled efficacy trial

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Cluster randomised trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet


Educational attainment (Maths)


Participating schools are randomly allocated to either the intervention group or the control group.

Intervention group: Participants receive the Fit to Study intervention. This consists of improving students brain function by improving attention and working memory, which in turn improves learning, resulting in a positive impact on attainment. The intervention includes twenty minutes per week of prescribed activity, designed to optimise the benefit of physical education (PE) for brain function. The intervention is delivered by PE teachers during scheduled lessons. As part of the intervention PE teachers receive training in how to deliver the intervention.

Control group: Schools continue with business as usual.

Participating students are followed up using their Pupil Key Stage 2 (KS2) scores obtained from the National Pupil Database (NPD) to measure their pre-intervention attainment. Post-intervention assessments will be carried out in June/July 2018 using the level 13 Progress in Maths test, provided by GL assessment.

Intervention type



Drug names

Primary outcome measure

Mathematical attainment is measured using the level 13 Progress in Maths test (provided at GL assessment) at the end of the school year.

Secondary outcome measures

There are no secondary outcome measures.

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

Pupils in Year 8 (aged 12-13).

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

Approx. 9000

Participant exclusion criteria

There is no exclusion criteria.

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Oxford Brookes University
Headington Road
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


Education Endowment Foundation

Sponsor details

9th Floor
Millbank Tower
21-24 Millbank
United Kingdom
+44 207 802 1676

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Education Endowment Foundation

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Funder name

Wellcome Trust

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

private sector organisation

Funding Body Subtype

International organizations


United Kingdom

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Planned publication in a high impact peer review journal.

IPD sharing plan:
The current data sharing plans for the current study are unknown and will be made available at a later date

Intention to publish date


Participant level data

To be made available at a later date

Basic results (scientific)

See additional file ISRCTN15730512_BasicResults_06May2020 (added 12/05/2020)

Publication list

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

12/05/2020: The basic results of this trial have been uploaded as an additional file.