What we learned from London 2012

We brought together some key stakeholders involved in the education programme delivered through the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to share their insight and learning, and demonstrate that any brand or organisation can create exciting and genuinely engaging learning opportunities for young people.

The range of education programmes delivered through the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was vast. As well as PE and sport, the programmes covered sustainability, enterprise, healthy active lifestyles and internationalism. They demonstrated that education can be a highly effective and sustainable means of activating cultural and sporting sponsorships and events, and that educational programmes can translate the inspiration provided by sport, culture and entertainment into important competencies and life skills for young people in schools and communities.

The speakers were:

Nick Fuller, who led the team which created, designed and delivered the London 2012 education programme, Get Set, which ran in 85% of the UK’s schools. He established Get Set +, the framework through which all stakeholders – sponsors, Government, suppliers and community groups – could participate in a focused programme. Nick is also the founder of EdComs.

Sally Hancock, who spent six years as the Director of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Partnership for Lloyds Banking Group. She was responsible for the strategy, activation and delivery of Lloyds’ involvement in the Games, with a focus on taking the Games to communities all over Britain. A key component was National School Sport Week – which, over the course of three years, involved 75% of all schools in the country.

Derek Peaple, who is Headteacher of Park House School and Sports College, the 2011 Aviva Daily Telegraph Highly Commended Specialist Sports College of the Year. He is also Headteacher Chair of the Berkshire School Games Local Organising Committee.


Nick spoke about the clear vision of London 2012: to “reach young people all around the world and connect them to the inspirational power of the Games.” This focus on young people meant that education would be a clear channel for realising the vision, and the involvement of the many sponsors and partner organisations was vital in helping schools and young people to engage with the Games.

The experience of the Get Set programme provided ten key lessons for the creation, development and maintenance of successful sponsored educational programmes.

Please email us if you would like to receive Nick’s ten top tips for creating a successful education programme.

Sally explained that Lloyds TSB’s vision for its involvement in the Games was based on its heritage as a part of local communities, and the aim of bringing communities closer to the Games. The key programmes were Lloyds TSB Local Heroes, which provides support for young athletes, and Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week, to celebrate school sport, connect communities with the Games and provide opportunities for staff volunteering. These were made possible by partnerships with the Youth Sport Trust and with Get Set / LOCOG, each partner contributing from their expertise for mutual benefit.

Sally’s key learning points were:

  • Evolve and adapt – keep the message fresh
  • Relevance is key
  • … as is clarity of communications
  • Involve wider stakeholder groups
  • “Benefitting my community” is as important as “Benefitting me”
  • Brand advocacy and consideration increases when integrated into mainstream brand communications

Derek set out a “magnificent seven” lessons about what inspires brilliant learning, which Park House School could share based on its involvement with Get Set. He put these as questions to employers wanting to engage with schools:

  • Are you, as an employer, involved in projects or processes that could support effective school improvement planning?
  • Are you associated with great events, properties or individuals who could be the focus for curriculum enrichment, within one subject area or across the whole curriculum?
  • Do you have great individuals who can inspire students as leaders and help them make their voices heard?
  • Are you engaged with individuals or projects which could help to shape students’ social, moral and cultural development?
  • Key to all of these is to come up with a set of ideas that schools can interpret flexibly, in a way that will make an impact on their particular young people.

In this case, the school took on the Olympic and Paralympic values as the basis for school life: Excellence, Friendship, Respect, Inspiration, Courage, Determination and Equality.

Do keep an eye on the blog for announcements about future seminars.

If you would like to hear from EdComs through our bulletins please email us.

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