Stage of Research: Implement Team Members: 7
Fundamental Movement Skills Motor Skills

School-based Fundamental Movement Skill Screening (FUNMOVES)

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There is a large proportion of children within the UK struggling to develop age-appropriate fundamental movement skills (FMS). This is particularly problematic as FMS have a wide-reaching effect on childhood development outcomes including physical activity levels, health, socioemotional wellbeing and academic achievement. Therefore assessment and monitoring of children’s FMS should be recognised as a high societal priority. However, there are problems at each stage of the assessment process in the UK (through the NHS) which means that children with problems are being missed and the most disadvantaged children are being underserved.

Researchers from CAER co-developed a school-based universal screening tool (FUNMOVES) with teaching staff in Bradford. Across three studies over 1000 children were tested and both rigorous statistical techniques and teacher reflections were utilised to iteratively modify the screening tool to ensure strong validity and feasibility. The finalised version of FUNMOVES enables teachers to evaluate the fundamental movement skills of a whole class within an hour, using resources readily available in schools. Alongside Occupational and Physio therapists, intervention activity resources have been designed with the aim to improve children’s fundamental movement skills (FMS), both within school and in their every day lives at home. These now require testing alongside FUNMOVES screening to assess if they will improve FMS.

FUNMOVES may provide a solution to the inequalities that are present within the healthcare system which hosts motor skill assessments currently within the UK. There is great potential for universal screening of FMS ability in schools, including increased teacher awareness, expedited time to assessment and intervention, as well as increased communication and collaboration between healthcare, education and families.

Project Image for School-based Fundamental Movement Skill Screening (FUNMOVES)

Fundamental Research

Core Science

Fundamental Research

Discovery and Design


Trials and Assessment


Large Randomised Controlled Trial

Refine and test across ~ 100 schools


Regional Rollout


Evidence-based Policy

Our team members

Avatar Image for Nat Merrick

Nat Merrick

Centre for Applied Education Research - Research & Implementation Fellow

Avatar Image for Shaun Phelan

Shaun Phelan

St Luke's Hospital - Senior Paediatric Occupational Therapist

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