The premium will continue at £320 million next year. The Youth Sport Trust would like to take this opportunity to thank those working in and with schools who have maintained momentum, keeping children active and schools moving.
Responding to the announcement, Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Ali Oliver MBE, said:
"At the end of a really successful National School Sport Week, we welcome confirmation of this funding for primary schools across England, it is urgently needed, and we know schools will be relieved to be able to confirm arrangements for September. However, we hope this will be an interim announcement as long-term funding is desperately needed. We must reimagine PE and school sport so it is inclusive and relevant to all young people and contributes to improving health and education outcomes.
“National School Sport Week focused on building belonging through sport, and the importance of a place for every child in sport. A generation of children are struggling to recover from the many consequences of COVID, increasing screen time, and the wider impact of the digital age. We face a ‘new pandemic’ of children’s health and happiness, and this demands a long-term commitment to transform activity levels. Only last week it was reported child type 2 diabetes referrals in England and Wales have jumped 50% amid an obesity crisis, and children mental health referrals are soaring.
“We want to work with more parents, teachers, politicians, and public influencers to address what should be a matter of public concern. Unhappy and unhealthy children don’t learn, if children don’t learn we won’t have a society fit for the future. The Youth Sport Trust is working to build back play, physical activity and school sport in children’s lives, helping them to balance the demands of a digital age, and create societal change when it comes to the place and value of PE and school sport. Today's announcement is a positive first step toward this.”
Sue Wilkinson MBE, CEO afPE, said:
"Schools will be pleased to know that another £320 million pounds of investment will be available for physical education and sport in primary schools for the 2022/23 academic year.
"The past two years disruption caused by Covid brought to the forefront the critical impact and implications on children and young peoples’ physical and emotional wellbeing.
"Their physical, social, emotional and cognitive development is vastly improved by learning in PE, taught by a highly skilled workforce. The subject is part of a broader solution to develop and improve both physical and health literacy as well as making a significant contributions to child development.
"In addition this funding can help to top up swimming provision to ensure every child leaves primary school able to safe self rescue and swim a minimum of 25 metres. Now more than ever we need to recruit, retain and value the workforce as they are key to ensuring all children have access to an excellent PE curriculum that is relevant to their needs and context.
"We must provide CPD that will embrace their pupils’ needs and empower practitioners to be confident to teach PE and advocate so that it can be placed at the front and centre of the school. Please invest this funding so that it will leave a legacy for future generations, small steps will create great change. As John Dewey said “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.” So thank you for your patience, please join us in prioritising the spend on need and what will achieve the best outcomes for children. Schools visited this week for Quality Mark, have really made a difference through appropriate investment as a result of a thorough self review."
The Youth Sport Trust has put together resources to help primary schools think about how the funding can support sustainable changes. Click here to view our premium resources.