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Government confirms £150m school sport funding

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The government has confirmed it will make an extra £150m-a-year investment in PE and school sport over the next two years.

As reported in Leisure Opportunities on 13 March, the ring-fenced money will be jointly provided by the Department for Education, Department for Health and DCMS and will see money going directly to primary school headteachers to spend on improving the quality of sport and PE.

Funding for each school will be calculated by the number of primary-aged pupils based on January 2013 figures and schools will have to spend the money on improving their provision of PE and sport.

All schools with 17 or more primary-aged pupils will receive a lump sum of £8,000 plus a premium of £5 per pupil. Smaller schools will receive £500 per pupil.

Crucially, schools will have the freedom to choose how and what the money will be spent on - a decision which will provide a boost for the UK's sports provider sector and professional coaches.

Schools are free to spend the money on hiring specialist PE teachers or qualified sports coaches to work alongside primary teachers as well as paying for professional development opportunities in PE/sport.

After school sport clubs, buying quality assured professional development modules or materials for PE/sport and adding new or additional Change4Life sport clubs are also on the list of 'allowed actions'.

Schools will, however, be held to account for how they spend the sport funding. Ofsted will strengthen its coverage of sport and PE within the Inspectors' Handbook and supporting guidance, so that schools and inspectors know how sport and PE will be assessed in future as part of the school's overall provision offered.

The decision was warmly welcomed by sports governing bodies and the UK's sports organisations - but each stressed that the funding shouldn't become a missed opportunity.

Baroness Sue Campbell, chair of the Youth Sport Trust, said: "It is welcome news that the government has now recognised PE and school sport as a priority area.

"If this funding is to reach every young person it is important to recognise that schools will need support in how to maximise its impact.

"Funding will need to be used in a way that makes high quality PE and sport sustainable, and embeds both within school life. Primary schools in particular will need support to achieve this."

To see the full government announcement on the funding, click here.

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The government has confirmed it will make an extra £150m-a-year investment in PE and school sport over the next two years.
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