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Whilst funding pressures continue to impact the sector, concerns have been raised over the future of the PE and sport premium funding for primary schools.

The background

In March 2013 the government announced that it was to provide additional funding of £150 million per annum for academic years 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 to improve provision of physical education (PE) and sport in primary schools in England.

On 6th February 2014 the then Prime Minister, David Cameron committed to continue the funding for the Primary PE & Sport Premium until 2020.

What is the grant used for?

Primary schools around England are using the premium to:

  • up-skill teachers to improve the quality of sport lessons
  • invest in quality coaching
  • provide more opportunities for pupils to take part in inter-school competitions
  • offer more after-school clubs
  • purchase better equipment
  • introduce new and unusual sports like fencing, climbing, ultimate frisbee and Danish long-ball to encourage more children to enjoy sport
  • improve sport teaching for children with special educational needs
  • deliver holiday and weekend activities
  • boost Change4Life clubs, helping children build a healthier lifestyle

Budget 2016

Within the 2016 budget it was promised that the primary schools sports premium would be doubled to £320 million per year from September 2017. This was to be funded by a new soft drinks industry levy, which has subsequently been labelled a ‘sugar tax’.

What do we know now?

With General Election results still settling down, it is unclear what the long term plans are for the grant – the government have already changed their minds several times on certain parts of their manifesto! However the ESFA have confirmed that the PE and sports grant will be continuing for 2017 to 2018. They are currently finalising the calculations and allocations which they will shortly publish on the gov.uk website and published via the ESFA e-bulletin.

Conclusion

Whilst the short term life on the funding has been confirmed, it is inevitably unclear how this will be affected going forward by the results of the General Election and continuing funding reduction.

Kreston UK’s 2017 Academies Benchmark Report has been published. To request your complimentary copy of the Report, please click here.

The benchmarking report will assist anyone who wants to understand more about how their academy trust is performing.

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