Plain English Summary
Background and study aims
Active children are more likely to be healthier and feel better. The government recommends that all children should do an hour of physical activity that makes them feel slightly out of breath and sweaty each day. Many children do not meet this guideline. Teaching Assistants are school staff members who could be trained to deliver physical activity clubs after-school, which would be a low-cost, sustainable public health programme. The aim of this study is to find out whether after-school clubs that are delivered by trained Teaching Assistants can increase the physical activity levels of Year 4 and 5 pupils.
Who can participate?
Year 4 and 5 pupils attending participating schools
What does the study involve?
Schools are randomly allocated to one of two groups. In the first group, Teaching Assistants are treained to deliver physical activity sessions in the after school club (Action 3:30 clubs). They then run the clubs twice a week for an hour for a total of 15 weeks. The sessions involve enjoyable activities that are designed to build confidence to be active and physical activity skills. Schools in the second group continue as normal for the duration of the study. In both groups, at the start of the study and for the last three weeks the clubs are running, all children answer a survey and wear an accelerometer, which is a small device that accurately records physical activity. Information from children in the schools that deliver Action 3:30 and the comparison schools is then compared to see if there are differences in the amount of physical activity that the two groups take part in and if there are differences in the survey responses.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Participants who receive the program benefit from being provided with a new physical activity opportunity in the after-school period. There are no known risks involved with participating.
Where is the study run from?
The study is run from University of Bristol and takes place in 12 primary schools in the Greater Bristol area (UK)
When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
September 2016 to September 2018
Who is funding the study?
National Institute for Health Research (UK)
Who is the main contact?
Professor Russell Jago
Action 3:30 R: A cluster randomised feasibility study of a teaching assistant led, extracurricular physical activity intervention for 8 to 10 year olds
Participating in after-school clubs that are delivered by trained Teaching Assistants will increase the physical activity levels of Year 4 and 5 pupils.
School for Policy Studies Ethics Committee, University of Bristol, 12/10/2016, ref: SPSREC16-17.B2
Cluster randomised controlled study
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Cluster randomised trial
Patient information sheet
Not available in web format, please use the contact details to request a patient information sheet
Schools will be randomised to one of two study arms in a 1:1 ratio by an independent statistician
Intervention arm: Participants in the intervention schools will be provided with new Action 3:30 clubs which will run for an hour, twice a week after-school. The program will run for 15 weeks. The sessions involve enjoyable activities that are designed to build confidence to be active and physical activity skills.
Control arm: Participants in the control schools will continue as normal for the duration of the study.
Follow up involves physical activity monitoring with accelerometers and the completion of surveys, and takes place at during the last 3 weeks of the intervention period (intervention weeks 13-15) for participants in both study groups.
Primary outcome measure
Mean minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) per day is measured using an accelerometer at baseline and during weeks 13-15 of when the intervention is running.
Secondary outcome measures
1. Mean minutes of sedentary time per day is measured by accelerometer at baseline and during weeks 13-15 of when the intervention is running.
2. Autonomy will be assessed using the Action 330 scale at baseline and during weeks 13-15 of when the intervention is running.
3. Competence will be assessed using the Action 330 scale at baseline and during weeks 13-15 of when the intervention is running
4. Relatedness will be assessed using the Action 330 scale at baseline and during weeks 13-15 of when the intervention is running
5. Enjoyment will be assessed using the Action 330 scale at baseline and during weeks 13-15 of when the intervention is running
6. Self-esteem will be assessed using the Self Description Questionnaire at baseline and during weeks 13-15 of when the intervention is running
7. Subjective well-being and health related quality of life will be self-reported using KIDSCREEN-10 and Child Health Utility 9D scores at baseline and during weeks 12-15 of when the intervention is running
8. Body Mass Index (BMI) Standard Deviation Score (SDS) is calculated from height and weight measurements at baseline and during weeks 12-15 of when the intervention is running
9. Participant and programme costs are measured using during the intervention period by resource logs (intervention group only) for the duration of the 15 week intervention period
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Reason abandoned (if study stopped)
Participant inclusion criteria
1. Year 4/5 pupils
2. Attending participating schools
Target number of participants
Up to 360 Year 4 and 5 pupils from 12 primary schools in the Greater Bristol, area will be recruited at baseline. We will also allow a second enrolment in the intervention schools during the mid-point of the intervention period to fill any gaps in intervention schools that might have occurred by children not attending the clubs. Participants recruited at the mid-point will be expected to provide data at the second assessment.
Participant exclusion criteria
Children who are unable to take part in usual PE lessons
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
University of Bristol
School for Policy Studies
University of Bristol
Research and Enterprise Development
National Institute for Health Research
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
Results will be published in an NIHR monograph and in a high-impact peer reviewed 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)
2017 protocol in: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29225913