Teacher confidence and capacity to deliver PE improved with £320m funding

As new guidance on the primary PE & Sport Premium is published, primary schools across England are sharing details of how they are improving PE and teachers’ confidence to deliver through a £320m government spending commitment.

Most primary schools have now received their initial Primary PE and Sport Premium funding for 2019/20 - confirmed until the end of this academic year.

With new guidance published today around how to spend the money, schools are being encouraged to invest the funding in sustainable improvements such as teachers’ professional development in PE (who currently receive an average six hours of teacher training in Physical Education during their initial training module).

Key updates to the guidance include an emphasis on the role of Ofsted under the new framework, an increased emphasis on school’s own role in compliance, more signposting, linking to resources, and clarity on how the premium should be spent and clarification of some frequently asked questions such as further information on the capital spend restriction.

There are five key indicators that the government has outlined the Primary PE and Sport Premium money should be spent on. These include:

1. The engagement of all pupils in regular physical activity - the Chief Medical Officer guidelines recommend that all children and young people aged 5 to 18 engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day, of which 30 minutes should be in school

2. The profile of PE and sport is raised across the school as a tool for whole-school improvement

3. Increased confidence, knowledge and skills of all staff in teaching PE and sport

4. Broader experience of a range of sports and activities offered to all pupils

5. Increased participation in competitive sport

Children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust is shining a light on best practice in schools to support as many schools as possible to use the money wisely to upskill teachers and make sustainable improvements to PE for all young people. This article forms part of a series of blogs which the charity will publish celebrating best practice in schools.

Using its PE and School Sport premium funding, Kirk Ella St. Andrew’s Community Primary School in East Riding Yorkshire, has invested in upskilling several of its teaching staff to become qualified swimming instructors. The school focused on key indicators 3,4 and 5 of the funding. It was then able to facilitate swimming galas for its year 1 and year 2 children to build water confidence. Alongside giving teachers more training to deliver a good quality physical education for children, it has been successful in getting 100% of children involved in competitive sport, 100% of children aged 7 to 11 involved in inter-school competitive sport and provided a broader range of sports for pupils to experience like dodgeball and mountain biking.

Lincolnshire school, Digby C of E Primary, worked with its School Sport Partnership to understand how its teachers could embed active learning across its curriculum. It has focussed on key indicators 1, 2 and 5. The school attended an active maths festival and applied the learnings in class. Through the funding and building teacher’s capacity to deliver physical activity in the wider curriculum it has seen maths results across the school increase and children’s attitudes towards maths and getting active improve.

Leeds school, Holy Family Catholic Primary School, focussed the funding on improving pupils’ physical literacy and ability to balance on two wheels in preparation for learning to ride a bike. As a school, it focussed on key indicator 1 and 2, trying to develop cycling from the age of three rather than when children are seven. By enabling pupils to use balance bikes and pedal cycles from the day they start school, it has supported two SEN pupils (twins) who struggled to walk on their first day of school to competently ride a pedal cycle as a result of the premium. The twins have also developed much better social interaction and co-ordination that is evident in a wide range of physical activities and improved their attitude towards learning in the classroom.

Ali Oliver, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said:

There are some great examples of how schools have used this funding to really improve Physical Education and use physical activity across the wider curriculum to improve pupil engagement in learning, academic progress and educational attainment. Seven years into the PE and Sport Premium, we should be seeing transformation in the quality of teaching, the place and value of physical education within schools, and general awareness and understanding of the importance of play and sport within a child’s education and development.

“Young people’s formative experiences of Physical Education have a lifelong impact on attitudes, motivation and personal development, and help put them on the path to a happy and healthy future. It is why we believe the development of young people’s physical literacy should be at the core of a good education on a par with language literacy and numeracy.

“Following the publication of government’s outline School Sport and Activity Action Plan over the summer, we hope that further strategic investment into PE and sport will extend the current investment into secondary schools form part of a long-term government strategy to tackle the worrying decline in children’s overall wellbeing.”

Schools can find out more information and guidance about the Primary PE and Sport Premium funding at www.youthsporttrust.org/PE-sport-premium. The Youth Sport Trust will publish the new template for schools next week.

Published on 31 October 2019