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Does your PE budget keep falling behind the rate of inflation? Are you constantly being asked to reduce your spending? If this is the case, it can be very difficult for you to offer a broad and varied curriculum within budget. Here are 3 affordable ways to teach PE whilst keeping the bursar happy:

1. Shop wisely for affordable items

Buy wise and buy in bulk! Whether you get the cheap £5 football or the slightly better £8 football the chances are both will end their life in the same way – over a perimeter fence, ‘missing’ or on the roof! Is there any point in buying that higher-quality ball for a PE lesson?

Do the pupils even recognise the difference between a £5 and £8 ball or the difference between a £10 and £14 badminton racket? Most of us don’t and, if you buy 50 balls per year then you’ve already saved £150. Don’t forget to buy in bulk if your budget allows – not only do you save on ever-increasing delivery charges but you are highly likely to get a unit discount. Don’t forget at least 3 quotes for any order as well as reading reviews for all items bought – durable and long-lasting is what we are after.

Also, consider purchasing equipment which can be used across a wide variety of sports – throw-down markers, durable balls which can be used for generic invasion games and mini-hurdles are our favourites.

2. School staff expertise

Make use of the expertise within the school. Is the technology departmental assistant able to find the time to make certain resources at a cost price? Examples could include backboards for the basketball hoops, OAA markers and the take-off board for the long jump pit. Even the most basic backboards will cost in the region of £250 per pair from a supplier, so you should see a saving of at least £200 if this can be produced in-house.

Can the caretaking staff learn how to mark out your sports pitches? This will save you another few hundred pounds per year. Finally, are there any other staff who can offer a curricular-enhancing opportunity who have additional teaching capacity on their timetable? For example, is there a jujitsu specialist or is that quiet R.E. teacher a pro kickboxer?! We all know how much some external agencies charge to offer a very similar experience, so make the most of what you’ve got!

3. Give teaching staff responsibility

Possibly the most crucial but controversial advice is to give each member of the teaching staff one class set of the basic equipment which needs replacing most often, such as team bibs, cone stacks, tennis balls and table tennis balls and see who keeps their set for the longest.

This encourages staff to be more meticulous when counting equipment in and out and will hopefully result in equipment lasting for a longer period of time. Also, speak to the staff in your department to see which pieces of equipment they use the most and least often. If there is a general consensus that some equipment is rarely used, consider whether it has a place in your curriculum.

Whilst you may feel that your PE budget can never fulfil your curriculum dreams, if you shop wisely, think differently and give staff responsibility for their own equipment, you may find your budget stretches further than you think.

Saving money can work in conjunction with saving time for your department. If you would like to have in-depth lesson plans and schemes of work then check out PEOffice’s content that can assist you and your colleagues. Alternatively, you can call the team on 01909 776 900, send an email to or book a free online demonstration here.