Responding to the announcement, Leigh Thompson, Director of Policy and Research at the Sport and Recreation Alliance said: “This package is really positive news for our children and young people who will benefit from dedicated curriculum PE time, improved access to school sports facilities and additional sport and physical activity opportunities through the PE and Sport Premium and School Games Organiser network.
“We also welcome the commitment to giving girls the same sporting opportunities as boys.”
“As we celebrate International Women’s Day and the UK’s hosting of the International Working Group (IWG) on Women and Girls in Sport, we are reminded of both the huge opportunity and the moral imperative to get more girls active and engaged in sport.”
“The Alliance, along with sector partners, has consistently called for funding for the PE and Sport Premium and School Games Organiser network to be put on a firmer footing and the announcement of a two-year funding settlement is therefore welcome. This provides schools with the certainty and stability they need to strategically plan and deliver a high-quality, diverse and inclusive PE offer.”
“The recommendation for schools to provide two hours of curriculum PE during the school week is also welcome recognition of the importance of PE in supporting the physical literacy, health and wellbeing of our children.”
“And with many of our best sports facilities on school sites in the heart of communities, additional investment to unlock these doors will help get more children active out of school hours, especially those facing the greatest inequalities.”
“Today’s announcement marks a positive step towards greater equality and access and we must continue to collectively push this important agenda forward.”
“We will support our members and sector partners on the detailed implementation of this announcement and continue to advocate for longer-term policy measures in the Government’s forthcoming new sports strategy and refreshed School Sport Activity Action Plan which support all children and young people to be active.”
The full package announced today includes:
- Equal access to sports in school – setting out that offering girls and boys the same sports, where it is wanted, is the new standard.
- Delivering a minimum 2 hours of curriculum PE – with more support being offered through a refreshed School Sport Action Plan.
- Expansion of the Schools Games Mark – to reward parity of provision for girls – this kitemark scheme, delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, recognises schools that create positive sporting experiences across all sports for young people, supporting them to be active for 60 minutes a day.
- Over £600 million across the next two years for the 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.
- A new digital tool for PE and Sport Premium to support schools in using the funding to the best advantage of their pupils.
- £22 million for two years of further funding for the School Games Organiser (SGO) network. Annually the 450 strong SGO workforce supports 2.2m participation opportunities for children including 28,000 competitive school sport events.
- Up to £57 million funding for the opening school facilities to open up more school sport facilities outside of school hours especially targeted at girls, disadvantaged pupils and pupils with special educational needs.
The full announcement can be found here.