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Is your school making the most of the government’s PE and Sport premium payment?

As a new academic year gets underway, it’s worth understanding the government’s PE and Sport Premium and ensuring your school is maximising this opportunity.

children running in school field

18th September 2023

The PE premium payment: what is it?

Essentially, the UK’s Chief Medical Officers say children and young people should do moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for at least an hour daily. Meanwhile, the Childhood Obesity Plan recommends that at least 30 minutes of this daily activity should happen in school. 

Primary schools in particular have a key role to play in meeting these goals, and there is a clear link between academic attainment and exercise. The government says all youngsters should enjoy the same access to high-quality PE and have the same chances to experience and participate in a varied programme of physical activities. 

The PE and Sport Premium funding is available from the Department for Education to most schools with primary-age pupils, and is based on the numbers of children in years 1 to 6. 

 

What can the PE and Sport Premium payment be spent on?

You can’t spend this money on core school activities; instead it’s intended to make extra, sustainable improvements to PE and sport provision, and to improve equal access for boys and girls to physical activity. 

Areas where it can be spent include (but are not necessarily limited to): 

  • Staff training in PE and sport
  • Increasing pupil engagement 
  • Raising the profile of PE and exercise across a school 
  • Broadening the range of activities available 
  • Boosting participation in competitive sport 

 

How much is the PE Sport Premium?

For the current academic year: 

  • Schools with 16 or fewer eligible pupils will receive £1,000 per pupil
  • Schools with 17 or more eligible pupils will receive £16,000 plus £10 per pupil

You can read more about eligibility, how the funding can be used and payment dates on the government’s website here

We’ve previously written about charity The Youth Sports Trust’s concern over cuts to the number of hours England’s pupils spend on sport and PE, and the potential threat to young people’s wellbeing. (Since 2012, there has been a sharp decline in the number of delivered PE lessons, from 326,277 to the current figure of just under 286,000.) 

The organisation’s chief executive Ali Oliver told journalists: 

“Too many children are missing out, with poor wellbeing and lacking a sense of belonging. The evidence is clear: unhappy, unhealthy children do not learn. We’re seeing evidence of this in high levels of persistent absence and mental ill health.” 

Earlier in the year, the government stated that schools across England should provide a minimum of two hours’ weekly PE, while ensuring boys and girls enjoy the same opportunities during these sessions. This funding provides an excellent opportunity to help achieve this. Be sure your school is accessing and making the most of this money. 

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