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Since 2013, primary schools have been able to use funding from the PE and sport premium to improve the provision of PE.

The government set this up to ensure that dedicated funding for PE and sport was made available to primary schools. The funding is in place to help schools to develop healthy and active lifestyles for pupils throughout their primary school years.

The premium is ringfenced so that it cannot be used for anything other than PE and sport. This ensures that pupils’ provision for sport is never overlooked in favour of spending the school budget on alternative expenses.

If you work in PE, you will know that it is an area that can often be seen as ‘a luxury’ with other subjects taking priority!

Which schools are eligible for sport premium?

The majority of schools with primary-age pupils are eligible to receive the sport premium, including:

  • Local authority maintained schools
  • Free schools and academies
  • Special schools (schools for children with special educational needs or disabilities)
  • City technology schools
  • Pupil referral Units (PRUs)

You can visit the site for full eligibility criteria.

How funding is calculated

The sport premium payable to your school will be calculated based on the number of pupils attending the school (Y1-6).

The government will use the latest school census to ascertain how many eligible pupils attend the school and calculate your entitlement based on that.

How much will you receive?

If there are fewer than 17 eligible pupils, the school receives £1000 for every pupil.

For schools with 17 or more eligible pupils, they will receive a sum of £16,000 plus £10 per pupil.

What can the sport premium be used for?

As described on the guidance on the government website, the premium should be used to:

  • Develop or add to the PE, physical activity and sport activities that your school already offers
  • Build capacity and capability within the school to ensure that improvements made now will benefit pupils joining the school in future years

There are five key indicators that are to be taken into consideration when deciding how to spend the premium. The premium must be used to achieve one or more of the following:

  • 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
  • The profile of PE and sport is raised across the school as a tool for whole-school improvement
  • Increased confidence, knowledge and skills of all staff in teaching PE and sport
  • Broader experience of a range of sports and activities offered to all pupils
  • Increased participation in competitive sport

The Youth Sport Trust offers some additional guidance on the sport premium and helps you to decide which areas you want to invest in.

You will want to make the most of your money and get maximum results, so doing some research into evidencing the impact will be very worthwhile before you make any decisions.

Examples of how the PE/sport premium can be used

The premium can be used to employ external sports coaches and specialists to provide sessions and to help teachers to develop physical activity across the school. It can also be used for staff training to develop their PE teaching skills.

Funding from the premium can be used to improve the sports facilities or purchase new equipment, including equipment that introduces new sports into the school.

Schools can also use the premium to organise swimming lessons or sports activities with other schools.

The sport premium is a fantastic opportunity to make improvements to the existing physical activities within primary schools, so use it wisely and do your research before you start spending.