Premier Education

Government pledge to boost school sport is a welcome announcement

In reaction to the news that the Government has announced major funding to improve school sports and set out new standards for equal access to sports, we believe that this commitment will be crucial in helping schools to plan for more effective PE delivery.

The news announced on International Women’s Day includes a two-year £600million commitment to the PE and Sport Premium, the expansion of the School Games Mark to reward parity of provision to girls, and the delivery of a minimum 2 hours of curricular PE.

Laurence York, our head of growth comments: “We welcome today’s announcement as it rightly spotlights on the critical need to enhance school sporting provision.

“A big challenge for schools has been the inability to plan appropriately for their PE provision. To see the PE and Sport Premium funding extended from one year to two will enable schools to make more strategic long-term decisions.

“This will improve provision by offering stability, consistency and an opportunity to align PE more closely with the school’s overall ethos or health and wellbeing agenda.

“Having access to equal, high-quality sporting opportunities from a young age is fundamental to children leading healthier lives. This not only benefits their physical and mental wellbeing but will ultimately put less pressure on the NHS in the years ahead.”

School sport: Children playing hockey

We strive to offer equal sporting opportunities across our curricular PE, clubs and holiday camps. In 2022, of our 36,000+ participants, 45% were female, 53% male, and 2% non-binary across all activities.

Our advice for schools looking to better spend their Sport Premium:

  • Look through the eyes of the child. Is the PE equipment well cared-for and fit for purpose? A child’s experience of physical activity can be very different if they are supplied with good-quality resources.
  • See beyond putting on an activity for a school. It’s about wider intent and school ethos.
  • Look to inspire and engage every child in the school. Mass participation initiatives such as the Golden Mile and Wow Active are easy and cost-effective to implement and have wide impact.
  • Be passionate about the benefits the money can bring to your children. Ideally spend it on a broad range of uses and ensure it is measurable.
  • Get the buy-in from everyone within the school, including teachers and parents. The main driver will be the PE co-ordinator, but having a good holistic attitude towards physical activity can be championed with support en-masse.
  • Look at your PESSPA plan and whole school improvement plan. Identify areas where PE, school sport or physical activity can positively impact outcomes such as academic attainment, behaviour or attendance.
  • If you plan long-term you are likely to see better results from the children. Short-term thinking offers no longevity or consistency, and no real progression.
  • Don’t negotiate on quality – safe provision is a priority!