Saturday 16 December 2017

Extra funding for school sport

Mo Farah is one of several Olympic stars to support David Cameron's new school sports strategy
Mo Farah is one of several Olympic stars to support David Cameron's new school sports strategy
Jessica Ennis, who was awarded a CBE, is among the Olympic stars supporting David Cameron's school sports strategy
London 2012 chairman Lord Sebastian Coe backs David Cameron's new school sports strategy

School sport is to get a £150 million a year cash injection to help bolster coaching for pupils in England, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced.

A primary school with 250 pupils would receive £9,250 per year - around two days a week of a primary teacher or a coach's time - and there will be a lump sum for each school with a per-pupil top-up, according to Mr Cameron.

It is part of a strategy, announced on the back of the successful London 2012 Games, geared towards improving sport provision in state primary schools in England.

Mr Cameron seeks to "ensure the Games count for the future too and that means capitalising on the inspiration young people took from what they saw during those summer months", and announced ring-fenced funding for sport which will be decided by heads or teachers.

The sums could be spent on specialist coaching and teacher training, dedicated sports programmes, Change4Life sports clubs or on after-school or weekend competitions.

Sports governing bodies and voluntary organisations will be offered a greater role to help increase specialist coaching and skills development and Ofsted has been tasked with ensuring the funding brings the maximum benefit for all pupils, with schools held to account for how they spend the money.

A revised version of the inspectors' handbook, set to be used from September, urges consideration of "how well the school uses its Sport Premium". Key factors will include improving the quality and breadth of PE and sporting provision plus encouraging pupils towards healthy lifestyles and performing up to their physical capabilities.

Sport England is also investing £1.5 million a year of Lottery funding through the County Sport partnerships to help primary schools link up with local sports coaches, clubs and governing bodies, and a pilot scheme, as part of the teacher training, will aim to produce up to 120 teachers with a specialism in PE. This is set to begin in September.

Olympic champions Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis plus Lord Coe, the London 2012 chairman and the Prime Minister's Olympic and Paralympic legacy ambassador, all gave the new school sport strategy their support, as did the Football Association, the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Rugby Football Union and Premier League.

Funding for schools will be calculated according to the number of children aged five to 11, and all schools with 17 or more primary-aged pupils will receive a lump sum of £8,000 plus a premium of £5 per pupil, with smaller schoolsl receiving £500 per pupil.

Press Association

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