Press release

£150m Olympic legacy boost for primary school sport in England

New funding to improve coaching for primary school pupils.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Primary school sport is set to be transformed thanks to a £150 million-a-year boost that will improve coaching for the youngest pupils and inspire the Olympic and Paralympic stars of the future, the Prime Minister announced today.

London 2012 gave Britain a once in a lifetime opportunity to inspire a nation to enjoy sport and the Government wants to embed that into the school day from an early age.

The new sports funding aims to improve the quality of provision in every state primary school in England.

This means:

  • A lump sum for each school, with a per-pupil top-up. A typical primary school with 250 primary aged pupils would receive £9,250 per year. This is the equivalent of around two days a week of a primary teacher or a coach’s time - enough to make sure every pupil in the school can do sport with a specialist.

  • ‘Ring-fenced’ funding - only to be spent on sport - will go directly into the hands of heads and teachers who will decide what is best for their children’s needs. This could vary from specialist coaching and teacher training to dedicated sports programmes, Change4Life sport clubs and support for after-school or weekend competitions.

  • A greater role for Britain’s best sporting and voluntary organisations, including National Governing Bodies who will increase the specialist coaching and skills development on offer for primary schools.

  • Tougher assessment of sport provision via Ofsted to ensure the funding is bringing the maximum benefit for all pupils, with schools held to account for how they spend the money.

  • Sport England 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 sports governing bodies.

  • New provision as part of initial teacher training to produce a cadre of primary teachers with a particular specialism in PE. This is being developed in conjunction with sporting bodies and will start with a pilot covering 120 primary teachers, with the first of these beginning work in schools in September 2013.

The Prime Minister David Cameron said:

The Olympic and Paralympic Games marked an incredible year for this country and I will always be proud that we showed the world what Britain can do.

I want 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.

With this new approach to sport, we can create a culture in our schools that encourages all children to be active and enjoy sport, and helps foster the aspirations of future Olympians and Paralympians.

Whether that is the future Jessica Ennis, Ellie Simmonds or Mo Farah, or someone who will simply learn to love sport and exercise for a lifetime, this investment will benefit a whole generation of children for many years to come.

There have been wide-spread calls for an investment to made into primary school sport and the announcement was welcomed by sports and education groups, and leading figures in the world of sport.

The Prime Minister’s Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Ambassador Lord Coe said:

When I stood up in Singapore in 2005 I spoke of London’s vision to connect young people with the inspirational power of the Games so they are inspired to choose sport.

Today’s announcement does just that and by focussing on primary schools we have the opportunity to make sport and physical exercise a habit for life. I am particularly pleased to see the proposals around initial teacher training and continual professional development because I know from my own experience what an impact teachers and their engagement can have on the lives of young people.

Double Olympic Champion, Mo Farah CBE said:

It is great to see a commitment to funding school sport and that it is something I passionately believe in. I am very excited to know that lots of children will be able to get involved in sport while at school and get more help from teachers and coaches. It really is very important. Record levels of funding have already been announced for elite sport and youth and community sport - totalling £1.5 billion in the run up to Rio 2016.

This is already starting to have an impact with the number of adults taking part in sport at an all time high of 15.5 million.

Today’s move complements the £1 billion youth and community sport strategy that is increasing opportunities for secondary school age children to play more sport.

The new support for primary school is funded by the Department for Education, Department of Health and Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Olympic gold winner, Jess Ennis CBE said:

It is great to see initiatives that help to give really young children the chance to take part in sport. This latest funding for primary schools sounds fantastic - so many of them have no funds for PE and hopefully now whether in an inner city or small rural community young kids will be introduced to fun ways to be active that will spark an interest in taking part in sport as they grow up.

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, said:

We must harness the sporting spirit of 2012 for all our young people. We have listened to teachers, and to Ofsted, who have said that sport provision in our primary schools is far too often just not up to scratch.That is why we are putting money directly into the hands of primary head teachers to spend it on improving PE in their schools.

By providing this money and reintroducing competitive sport back into the heart of the curriculum we can achieve an Olympic legacy in our schools we can be proud of.

Alex Horne, General Secretary of The FA:

The FA welcomes today’s announcement and the Government’s commitment to invest directly into sport within Primary schools. Making sure boys and girls of all abilities receive quality physical education at the earliest ages is essential and football can play a key part in meeting this challenge. Our FA Tesco Skills Programme is a great example of a quality coaching course that provides children between the ages of 5 and 11 with the opportunity to develop their broad physical literacy whilst learning and enjoying the basic skills of our national game. We are delighted that it has been independently recognised and accredited by afPE and we hope that head teachers will consider it an attractive and quality assured option to help deliver sport in their schools.

Fara Williams, England player and FA Tesco Skills coach:

Good quality sport in schools at the earliest ages is so important. The boys and girls I coach love their sessions because they are fun, inventive and always of a high quality. All FA Skills Coaches have to reach incredibly high coaching and educational standards to deliver our courses. It is what makes the programme stand out, and it is why teachers learn so much from delivering alongside it. Not many boys or girls who go through the programme will become an England player like me, but they will develop their physical literacy, learn basic football skills and enjoy themselves enough to hopefully gain a sporting interest and habit for life.

Ian Ritchie, RFU Chief Executive said:

The RFU welcomes the investment in primary level Physical Education. We are keen to see a broad and balanced PE experience for children and high quality training for teachers. These will create a great platform for children to enjoy all sports including rugby.

The RFU has recently extended its reach in schools by launching All Schools which provides tailored support to help more state secondary schools play rugby as part of the 2015 Rugby World Cup legacy. Our work in schools will be enhanced by today’s announcement by the Prime Minister.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

I want our Olympic legacy to inspire more children to participate in sport and exercise to set them up for a healthy life. The overwhelming benefits of exercising more are clear, but with a third of children overweight by the age of 11 boosting sports provision in schools will help us tackle this country’s obesity problem.

With inactivity costing the NHS more than £1billion a year we cannot afford to let our children grow up without access to sport and exercise.

Roger Draper, LTA CEO said:

We welcome today’s announcement by the Prime Minister and believe it will improve the provision of high quality physical education and school sport in primary schools. British tennis’ own schools programme recognises the integral role teachers play in the development of physical literacy at a primary school age. The commitments made by the Government today will not only help teachers offer more PE and school sport, but will also encourage further engagement between schools and local community clubs that will inspire children to make sport a part of their lives, an important legacy from the 2012 Games.

RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood said:

The new primary school sport strategy offers a fantastic opportunity to supplement the work the RFL has undertaken to develop Primary Rugby League.

Offering primary-age children a high quality and fun experience of physical education and sport is critical to the growth of the game: primary schools need this much welcomed support to create a sporting habit for life so children can enjoy our sport in their communities.

The RFL also has a strong focus on the primary game during this year’s World Cup, so this is a very exciting time for young children who play this great game.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Maria Miller said:

This funding will give primary school children fantastic sport, and is the final piece in the 2012 sports legacy jigsaw. It complements our £1 billion youth and community sport strategy that is increasing opportunities for secondary school children to play more sport. I am very pleased that sports’ governing bodies are backing this move, which will help create a culture in this country where people play sport for life.

Richard Scudamore, Premier League Chief Executive, said:

Premier League clubs do great work at the heart of their communities, especially with young people and in schools. Today’s commitment from the Government to invest in school sport should be welcomed and celebrated by anyone involved in sport at any level. High-quality multi-sport coaching delivered by bodies like Premier League clubs means that more school children will get the benefits that sport, as part of their education, delivers. We are looking forward to doing our bit.

ECB Chief Executive David Collier said:

We welcome the fact that more funding has been set aside to deliver sport and PE in Primary Schools and that funding has been ring fenced and hopefully measured. Cricket already delivers Asda Kwik cricket and Cricket Foundation’s Chance to Shine initiatives within schools along with teacher training programmes. We hope that this funding will open up access to more schools, for us to deliver more resources to teachers to help them to improve physical literacy and provide an introduction to the game which is adapted to meet the needs of children at a Primary School level.

Notes to editors

  • The new fund is worth £150 million per annum for the next two years. Funded by the Department for Education (£80m), the Department of Health (£60m) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (£10m), it will see funds go directly into the hands of primary school head teachers for them to spend on sport. In a move that shows the Government’s commitment to school sport the Sport Premium will be ring fenced and can only be spent on sport provision in schools. No other funding for schools is ring-fenced.

  • Funding for schools will be calculated by reference to the number of primary-aged pupils (i.e. children between the ages of 5 and 11). All schools with seventeen or more primary-aged pupils will receive a lump sum of £8,000 plus a premium of £5 per pupil. Smaller schools will receive the sum of £500 per pupil. Thus: a school with 16 eligible pupils would receive £8,000; a school with twelve such pupils would receive £6,000; and a school with five such pupils - the smallest that we know of - would receive £2,500.

  • We have agreed with Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, that Ofsted will strengthen its coverage of sport within the Inspectors’ Handbook and supporting guidance, so that schools and inspectors are clear about how sport will be assessed in future as part of the overall provision offered by the school. A revised version of the handbook will be published for implementation from September 2013. The handbook is what all inspectors follow when doing their inspections and these changes will ensure that sport is a high priority for inspectors and will hold schools to account appropriately. The revised handbook will ask inspectors to consider: “How well the school uses its Sport Premium top improve the quality and breadth of its PE and sporting provision, including increasing participation in PE and sport so that all pupils develop healthy lifestyles and reach the performances levels they are capable of.”

  • The Government and Ofsted will provide schools with information on effective practice taken from case studies provided by the very best award winning schools. One year on, Ofsted will carry out a survey reporting on the first year’s expenditure and its impact, holding schools to account for how they have used this money. We will require schools to include details about their sporting provision on their school website, alongside their curriculum details. This will enable parents to compare sporting provision across and between schools, both within and beyond the school day.

  • In addition to the funding announced today, the Department for Education will continue to fund a number of smaller, targeted programmes which are already helping to improve PE and sporting provision for young people. These include: work on sport for young people with a disability; volunteer coaches and leaders; and the Young Ambassador programme. Furthermore, the Secretary of State for Education has already made clear that he proposes that PE should be a compulsory part of the National Curriculum at all four key stages after the current review. The draft programme of study for PE has been published for consultation. It places a greater emphasis on competitive sport than previously, but still allows schools to provide physical activities for their pupils which are suited to their needs. It also retains the requirement that all young people should be taught to swim as part of the National Curriculum. The Secretary of State also proposes to run a pilot programme in initial teacher training for primary teachers which will produce a cadre of 120 primary teachers with a particular specialism in teaching PE. Work on this programme will begin in summer 2013, with the first teachers beginning work in schools in September 2013.

  • With funding from Sport England sports governing bodies will provide a multi-sport satellite club in every secondary school. These will be available to every secondary school pupil on top of the sport and PE offer they receive as part of the curriculum. Some are being created especially to appeal to girls who often give up on sport when they leave school.

  • We will monitor progress on this front by measuring the impact of these programmes on sports participation by 11- to 14-year-olds.

  • Primary school years are crucial to tackling obesity and physical inactivity. One in three children leaving primary school are overweight or obese. Regular physical activity, not just competitive sport, is proven to reduce the risk of more than 20 chronic conditions including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity.

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Published 16 March 2013