Government announces extension of PE and sport premium


The PE and sports premium for pupils will continue in the next academic year, education secretary Gavin Williamson has announced.

Schools will receive £320 million through the premium, while any finances from the current school year that are not spent can be brought forward into 2020-2021.

Designed to help primary schools to enhance their PE and sports offering, it is hoped that pupils will then benefit from regular exercise.

The premium funding was doubled in 2017 and looks to build on the government’s School Sport and Activity Action Plan, a key part of efforts to enhance pupils’ mental and physical wellbeing.

Mr Williamson said confirmation of the funding would provide an element of certainty for schools so they can plan for the next academic year, and provide a range of benefits for pupils.

“During these challenging times, it has become clearer to me than ever the importance of keeping active and how it benefits not just our physical health but also our ability to pay attention, our mood and our mental health too,” he explained.

By allowing unused funding form the current year to be carried over, Mr Williamson said it will allow school leaders to make improvements with future years in mind.

Oliver Dowden, secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport described being active as being “absolutely vital for our children’s mental and physical health”.

He added that the funding will enable primary schools to provide children with 60 minutes of active time daily so they can stay healthy.

Under the PE and Sport Premium, schools are granted finance to deliver additional sports and physical activities, alongside improvements to the quality of their provision.

The amount any school receives is based on pupil numbers, with an average one form primary school receiving around £18,000 annually.

The latest announcement has been welcomed by the Association for Physical Education, with chief executive Sue Wilkinson MBE saying that the government’s financial commitment demonstrates the importance of school sport.

Sport England’s chief executive Tim Hollingsworth also praised the investment. “It’s never been more needed given the massive disruption to children’s physical activity levels during lockdown,” he explained.

He added that schools will now be able to prioritise sport and getting children active, which can build their mental resilience and help them to excel academically.

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