The key objectives of the Primary PE and School Sport Premium funding is for schools to make additional and sustainable improvements to the quality of PE and sport they offer. This may include developing or adding to the PE and sport activities that your school already offers and building capacity and capability within the school to ensure that improvements made now will benefit pupils joining the school in future years.
Four years in, how sustainable are the changes you have made? Are they embedded, are they now part of school life and can they have a life beyond the funding stream?
At a recent conference we felt a nervousness in the room from delegates around their roles beyond the funding and concern that many of the additional activities currently on offer to children would disappear as soon as the funding went. Whilst we can’t answer questions about how long the funding will actually be here for or will it be the same amount next year, we can help schools consider how appropriate your spend is in achieving the objectives and how to plan for sustainability using the evidence and impact tool. With the increased accountability measures and sample visits to schools not too far around the corner, now is the time to really start to consider how each pound is allocated and ensure there is a plan going forward. Sample visits will be taking place during the summer term of this year. Schools need to ensure their website is up to date and information about the premium spend and its impact can be found. There will be 5% of primary schools selected at random for a PE and school sport premium visit and they will receive a report detailing the findings.
A three step approach to achieve this could be adopted:
- Whole school improvement plan
A simple way of doing this is to consider the whole school improvement priorities and to see where PE and school sport can support each of these. Complete the Youth Sport Trust Quality Mark to aid sustainability by connecting to school priorities.
- Accountability measures
A second piece of advice would be to look at each of the five accountability measures and to plan where you want your school to be in one year, two years and three years. How are you going to achieve this? You might consider reducing the amount of money you allocate to each area, so ultimately the changes made are not funded from the PE and sport premium pot.
- Check and challenge
The third and final bit of advice would be to have a period of reflection and then check and challenge sustainability. What impact has each intervention, additional opportunity or activity had and how can you as a school ensure this continues?
To support the process further guidance around evidence and impact and accountability can be found here.
Kate Thornton-Bousfield, YST Development Manager YST Achieve (PE)
7 February 2018