Primary school children in England will benefit from higher quality PE lessons and better sport opportunities, the Education Secretary has announced today.
Backed by a £320 million investment, the PE and Sport Premium will encourage children to play more sport, increase their social skills, and improve their physical activity after lockdown. Schools will also be able to improve the quality of their teaching and make longer-term, sustainable changes to their lessons.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
I am pleased to announce that we will continue to fund the PE and Sport Premium next year, so primary schools can continue to prioritise children’s physical wellbeing alongside education recovery.
Children’s physical health has never been more important, and I am proud that this investment will build on our actions across government to support this activity – including through our School Sport and Activity Action Plan, and our £10.1 million investment helping school sport facilities and swimming pools.
The funding, for the next academic year, can be used by schools alongside any money leftover from the PE and Sport Premium grant this year or last. These underspends can be used by schools until 31 July 2022, and will help them to prioritise physical activities, sport and physical education with mental health and wellbeing support, or education catch up and tutoring.
Schools Minister Nick Gibb said:
Today’s announcement confirming the PE and Sport Premium for the next academic year gives schools the opportunity to improve the quality of their sport provision and plan ahead with their funding. It is vital all children have an active start in life, and our continued investment will play an important part in their development and recovery from the pandemic.
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said:
Keeping fit and active is absolutely vital for our children’s mental and physical health.
I’m extremely grateful to those who have stepped up with workout videos and ideas to keep families healthy over the past year, but there is no substitute for kids taking part in face to face learning and physical education plays a vital role in that.
This £320 million package will give primary schools the funding they need to keep the next generation fit and active.
The funding builds on the ambitious School Sport and Activity Action Plan, which will be updated later this year.
The Government is working closely with the sector to improve children and young people’s physical activity, including through investment; building on core content for physical activity in the health and relationships school curriculum; and working across the sector to produce targeted videos, guidance and support to continue to prioritise PE, sport and physical activity.
Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, said:
We welcome the confirmation of further PE and Sport Premium funding for the next academic year. Their time at school is a huge part of how children can engage with the activity they enjoy, and which can also support them to focus and learn. After a year of significant disruption to children’s activity levels and schooling, a high-quality PE and sport offer, boosting their health and wellbeing, has never been more important.
Sue Wilkinson MBE, CEO of Association for Physical Education, said:
The Association for Physical Education is delighted that the Primary PE and Sport premium will continue for an additional year, and that schools will be able to carry over any underspend. This will enable schools to plan for sustainable solutions to ensure that all their children will be able to access high quality PE and physical activity. Now more than ever, it is critical that we place PE front and centre in schools, to prioritise all children’s physical, emotional, social and cognitive wellbeing and development – and we believe schools will be a key driver in achieving the best outcomes for all.
Ali Oliver MBE, CEO of the Youth Sport Trust said:
The confirmation of the Primary PE and Sport Premium today is such welcome news. The importance of daily physical activity, weekly physical education and regular opportunities for all children to enjoy sport has never been more important to young people’s wellbeing, education and development. This investment and the opportunities it will support should be recognised as an important contributor to our national recovery. Not only will it help accelerate young people’s physical recovery but it should also bring fun, enjoyment and reconnection, as well as supporting their re-engagement in the classroom.
Next week schools across the country will be holding sports days as part of National School Sport Week and celebrating the important and powerful role of school sport and PE in improving lives. There is huge demand from schools, parents, carers and young people for more opportunities to be active and get outdoors, as well as a growing consensus on the need for PE and sport to be positioned at the core of the curriculum. This funding should help many primary schools to improve provision of PE and sport and develop teachers’ confidence to deliver it.