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PE & Sport Premium News.

Major Government funding announcement & commitment to PE and school sport

We are delighted to announce that the PE Premium has been renewed for the next two years as well as further investment to get children active.

Here is how AfPE broke the news this morning:

Today, on International Women’s Day the Government is setting out new standards for equal access to sports, making it clear that girls and boys should be offered the same sports during PE and extracurricular time in schools.

The package, outlined below, will help to boost equal opportunities in PE and school sport both inside and outside the classroom, delivering on promises made by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Education Secretary Gillian Keegan to the Women’s Euro 22 winners the Lionesses.

The full package being announced today includes:

  • Over £600 million across the next two academic years (2023-24 & 2024-25) for the continuation of the Primary PE and Sport Premium – a funding commitment to improve the quality of PE and sports in primary schools to help children benefit from regular activity

  • Schools to deliver a minimum 2 hours of curriculum PE – with more support being offered through a refreshed School Sport Action Plan

  • £22 million for two years of further funding for the School Games Organiser network (SGO) - Annually the 450 strong SGO workforce supports 2.2m participation opportunities for children including 28,000 competitive school sport events

  • Equal access to sports in school – setting out that offering girls and boys the same sports, where it is wanted is the new standard

  • Up to £57 million funding for the 'Open Sports Facilities' programme - to open up more school sport facilities outside of school hours especially targeted at girls, disadvantaged pupils and pupils with special educational needs

  • A new digital reporting tool for Primary PE and Sport Premium – to support schools in using the funding to the best advantage of their pupils

  • Expansion of the Schools Games Mark - to reward parity of provision for girls

The Primary PE and Sport Premium is designed to help children get an active start in life by improving the quality of PE and sports in primary schools. Headteachers can choose how best to spend this funding including on teacher training, offering more opportunities for pupils to take part in competition and widening the range of sports for both boys and girls.

Schools will receive updated guidance this summer setting out how to use the funding to the best advantage of their pupils. A new digital tool will be introduced for schools to report on their spending of the Primary PE and Sport Premium and allow the Government to understand where further guidance is needed.

Schools will be asked to offer a minimum of two hours curriculum PE time and Government will provide support to schools on how to do this through the upcoming refresh of the School Sport Action Plan.

Alongside this work, Ofsted will be publishing a report into PE in the coming months, which will inform future inspections and set out what they believe is possible in terms of offering high quality PE and equal access to sports.

The Government is also providing security for the School Games Organisers (SGO) network, with the commitment of funding until the end of the summer term 2025. The 450 strong SGO workforce offers over two million opportunities to participate in competitive sports. The programme delivers on the Government’s ambition to ensure that all children and young people, no matter their background, can be active.

This is part of the Government’s commitment to improve access to sport for everyone. £300 million is being used to build or improve thousands of grassroots football and multi-sport facilities across the UK by 2025.

Being active in childhood is vital to long-term wellbeing and physical and mental health. This major investment will help more children to keep fit, have a healthy start to life and will help save the NHS money in the years ahead.

Up to £57 million in funding will be used to allow up to 1,350 selected schools around England to keep their sport facilities open for longer for after-school activities (Opening Schools Facilities programme), especially targeted at girls, disadvantaged children and those with special educational needs.

afPE's CEO, Sue Wilkinson MBE said:

"afPE is delighted at the news from the Department for Education regarding continued investment into physical education and school sport. The commitment to extend the Primary PE and Sport Premium funding by over £600 million for an additional two years, to the end of the academic year 2024/25 is welcome news and should be celebrated by the sector. This will enable all primary schools to plan effectively and efficiently on how best to address their needs. At a time of on-going challenges it is absolutely critical that schools have the resources to address the physical, emotional, social and cognitive development of all pupils.

"Minister Gibb has recently stated the importance of prioritising PE in the curriculum and that the Department would look at ‘lessons learned by schools’ placing PE at the heart of the curriculum. afPE is pleased that the work and subsequent research, instigated by the afPE Taskforce is making a difference."

"We ask all head teachers and senior leaders, to use their ring fenced funding to make a difference through physical education, school sport and physical activity. Whilst all are different, they are inextricably linked and provide the route map to achieve effective and wider outcomes for pupils."

"The planned progressive learning in and through PE will underpin the additional extended curriculum of school sport whilst embedding physical activity across the school. We are also pleased that the school games organiser funding (SGOs) is also extended. With an additional £57 Million confirmed for the Opening Schools Facilities programme ensuring more children and young people will be offered access and opportunities to engage in physical activities outside of the curriculum."

"afPE will continue to offer support to members and the wider workforce to ensure that they can achieve an inclusive, ambitious and compelling PE curriculum that is accessible. We will continue to create resources and professional learning opportunities to support the workforce."

"A free webinar will be available to all, to discuss the implications of the Primary PE and Sport Premium funding and provide support to complete the website reporting/review template, TBC in the week beginning March 20th."

afPE's Chair, Professor Jeanne Keay said:

“The Association warmly welcomes the commitment to fund an additional two years of the Primary PE and Sport Premium grant. afPE has worked tirelessly, along with national partners, members of the afPE Taskforce (chaired by Edward Timpson) and the sector to champion the necessity for government to continue their investment.

“The news today will positively impact the lives of children and young people for years to come. afPE believes that ‘transformational PE is the key to unlocking the secret garden to achievement and attainment’. It is critical that we support the PE curriculum entitlement for every child, including swimming and safe self-rescue.”

“In addition, we fully support the Government’s request that schools offer a minimum of two hours of curriculum PE time. We know from the work that afPE has done in assessing schools for the Quality Mark that where schools provide pupils with a curriculum that has two hours of PE throughout each key stage there is a clear link to transformational learning outcomes for those young people.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

“Last year the Lionesses’ victory changed the game. Young girls know when they take to the pitch that football is for them and, thanks to the Lionesses, they too could be a part of the next generation to bring it home for their country.

“We want schools to build on this legacy and give every girl the opportunity to do the same sports as boys, as well as provide a minimum of two hours of PE. This means every child can benefit from regular exercise and we are proud to provide them with the support needed to do so.”

Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan, said:

“As someone who grew up in Liverpool, a city dominated by its love for football, I know first-hand the power of sport in bringing people together – whether on or off the pitch.

“Every child – girl or boy - should have access to high quality sport and activities. Not only are these opportunities great for both physical and mental health - but also for all those other skills young people will need throughout their life like teamwork and communication."

“Today, on International Women's Day, we are breaking down the barriers some children face to access sport and building on the Lionesses' legacy to ensure girls have the same access to all their favourite sports as boys."

On the Opening Schools Facilities programme, Andy Taylor, Chief Executive, Active Partnerships said:

“We are delighted that schools across England will receive a share of this new three-year investment to help them open up their sporting facilities outside of the normal school day.

“Working with our consortia partners our network of 43 Active Partnerships will support schools to develop and deliver their plans, working together to identify those local communities facing the greatest inequalities and help give them access to more varied opportunities to be physically active."

“We aim to engage with 1350 schools throughout the funding programme.”

Culture Secretary, Lucy Frazer said:

"I will do all I can to help address inequality in sport and today's announcement is a huge boost that will help give girls greater opportunities in schools across England. The Lionesses have undoubtedly inspired the next generation and it is vital that we make sure we have the structures in place at schools and the grassroots to capitalise on that and drive up participation for all the positive life benefits it brings.

"Having made £1 billion available to ensure the survival of the sport and leisure sector during the pandemic, we are now setting a new standard for ensuring children and young people have the opportunity to enjoy healthy and active lives both inside and outside of school."

Further information:

  • Guidance on the Primary PE and Sport Premium, including how schools can utilise the funding, is available HERE.

  • This announcement is available to view on the afPE website HERE.

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