Primary school physical education and school sport could be transformed thanks to a £150 million-a-year boost that will be ring-fenced for primary school sport. This funding is hoped to continue to inspire the Olympic and Paralympic stars of the future. The new sports funding aims to improve the quality of provision in every state primary school in England.
What does this funding mean?
A lump sum for each school, with a per-pupil top-up. A typical primary school with 250 primary aged pupils would receive £9,250 per year. This is the equivalent of around two days a week of a primary teacher’s time – enough to make sure every pupil in the school can participate in physical education and school sport with a specialist.
The ring-fenced funding can only be spent on physical education and school sport. The funding will go directly into the hands of heads and teachers who will decide what is best for their children’s needs. This could vary from specialist coaching and teacher training to dedicated sports programmes, sport clubs and support for after-school or weekend competitions.
Tougher assessment of sport and physical education provision via Ofsted to ensure the funding is bringing the maximum benefit for all pupils, with schools being held to account for how they spend the funding.
Sport England is also investing £1.5 million a year of lottery funding through the County Sport Partnerships to help Primary Schools link up with local sports coaches, clubs and sports governing bodies.
New provision as part of initial teacher training to produce a new generation of primary teachers with a particular specialism in PE. This is being developed in conjunction with sporting bodies and will start with a pilot covering 120 primary teachers, with the first of these beginning work in schools in September 2013.
The Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“The Olympic and Paralympic Games marked an incredible year for this country and I will always be proud that we showed the world what Britain can do. I want to ensure the Games count for the future too and that means capitalising on the inspiration young people took from what they saw during those summer months.
With this new approach to sport, we can create a culture in our schools that encourages all children to be active and enjoy sport, and helps foster the aspirations of future Olympians and Paralympians. Whether that is the future Jessica Ennis, Ellie Simmonds or Mo Farah, or someone who will simply learn to love sport and exercise for a lifetime, this investment will benefit a whole generation of children for many years to come.
There have been wide-spread calls for an investment to be made into primary school sport and the announcement was welcomed by sports and education groups, and leading figures in the world of sport”.
Sustainability and Pedagogy
It is vital that this money is not just pumped into short-term solutions, but instead relationships and sustainable measures are developed and implemented as this funding support is only secured up until the academic year of 2014/2015. We need to ensure this funding is utilised in truly supporting the Olympic legacy, inspiring a generation of pupils, parents, teachers and schools alike to chose sport.
High quality Physical Education is key to the success of this Government initiative. We need to encourage and foster the development of physically literate individuals equipped with the movement competencies and motivation to be become life-long physically active individuals.
How could this funding be best spent to build on the Olympic Legacy, raise high quality physical educational experiences for all pupils, promote physical literacy and create more opportunities for pupils to participate in sporting competition? Please feel free to share your ideas by commenting on the post below.