Education Secretary Justine Greening has today announced that schools will be able to bid for a share of £415 million fund for new sports facilities.
Available from 2018, the Healthy Pupils Capital Programme funding, recouped from the government’s “sugar tax”, will be delivered through a central formula to local authorities or multi-academy trusts who will make decisions on how it is invested. Smaller multi-academy trusts, standalone academies and sixth form centres will be able to bid for grants for one off projects.
Justine Greening said: “Schools can really help our children get a healthy start in life from exercise and sport, and also from knowing what a healthy diet means. It’s not only good for them while they’re in education, but the health and wellbeing benefits can last a lifetime.”
Alison Oliver, Chief Executive Officer of the Youth Sport Trust commented:
We welcome this investment into schools to provide young people with more and better facilities to support the promotion of physical activity. We know children with the best physical, social and emotional wellbeing achieve the most in the classroom. Schools have such a pivotal role in helping young people to develop the right understanding skills and habits to equip them for life, and having enough facilities which allow inclusive access to sport, physical education and activity is essential.
“It is important to note this is in addition to the doubling of the Primary PE and Sport Premium which will be invested in from September 2017.”
Primary, secondary and sixth form colleges can use the cash for facilities to support PE, after-school activities and healthy eating. The government has said these facilities will particularly support children with physical conditions, or support young people struggling with mental health issues.
The money is part of a £1.3 billion investment, made up of funding for PE and sport premium, investment in breakfast clubs and universal infant free school meals funding, all of which comes from the soft drinks industry levy. The Treasury expects to raise £1.2 billion from the levy over two years from April 2018. It also pledges that the funding will not fall below £414 million, regardless of the cash generated by the levy.
The Department for Education will confirm the allocation formula, spending guidelines and bidding criteria in the summer.
Read the full release from the Department for Education here.