Government invests a further £150m in primary school PE and sport

Government invests a further £150m in primary school PE and sport

Primary schools in England have been given more than £150 million this year to improve PE lessons.

The money will come from the PE and Sports Premium budget, set up by the Department for Education (DfE) in 2013 to help primary schools boost school sports.

The scheme will give more than £450 million until the 2016 academic year, with the average primary school of 250 pupils eligible for £9,000.

Announcing the latest allocations, children and families minister Edward Timpson today visited Vauxhall Primary School in south London (pictured) where he took part in a PE lesson and watched a football match.

“As part of our plan for education, we want all children to get into the habit of playing and enjoying sport in primary school as it can help instil confidence, discipline and determination,” he said.

“Whether a child is a potential future Olympic champion or a keen amateur like me, I want them all to be given the chance to fulfil their sporting potential.”

The funding goes directly to primary school headteachers who can make individual decisions on how best to use it for sporting provision.

Vauxhall has used its allocation to extend the range of after-school clubs, replace sports equipment and increase participation in competitions.

Headteacher Edison David said: “This year’s funding will be used to continue providing our pupils with specialist coaching in various sports, access inter-school and pan-London competitions, and to fund enrichment activities aimed at improving pupils’ fitness and physical well-being.”

Research carried out by the DfE last month shows that nine out of 10 schools have already improved the quality of their PE lessons as a result of the funding.

More than 90 per cent also reported improvements in children’s health, behaviour and lifestyle.

Last year pupils spent an average of 122 minutes a week doing PE – up 13 minutes on the previous year.

Sue Wilkinson, from the Association for PE, said: “Since the initial investment, evidence demonstrates a shift with physical education and sport driving whole school improvement and making a significant contribution to young peoples’ health and well-being.

“We hope that with the continued investment schools will continue to create a sustainable legacy for PE and sport.”

Click here for the DfE’s “final 2014 to 2015 PE and sport premium allocations for maintained schools, free schools and academies, including conditions of grant.”