Finnish Schools on the Move is a research-based programme for promoting physical activity in schools. The programme has been developed in Finland since 2010 and has grown from a pilot of 45 schools into a project that covers more than 90 per cent of Finnish schools in basic education.
In ten years, we have managed to increase awareness of the importance of physical activity in Finland. More than 90 per cent of all comprehensive schools in Finland are Schools on the Move. As a result, the school culture has become more physically active: a positive change has been observed in the organisation of activities and school premises, movement has been added to lessons and more attention has been paid to less active pupils.
The objective of the programme is to increase physical activity among school-age children by making the school culture more active in various ways. Linking research and monitoring with the implementation of the programme, the strong bottom-up ideology of the school-oriented approach and the extensive cooperation networks have been central success areas in the implementation of the programme.
The Schools on the Move programme has been part of the implementation of the government programme in Finland three times and one of the Government’s key projects in knowledge and education between 2015 and 2019.
From an international point of view, the Schools on the Move programme can be considered exceptional as it is not an intervention programme based on just one course of action.
The strategic management of the Schools on the Move programme is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish National Agency for Education. The programme is coordinated by LIKES Research Centre for Physical Activity and Health.