England Athletics welcomes yesterday’s UK Government’s announcement regarding its continued funding for the Primary PE and Sport Premium and the School Games Organisers for the next two academic years (taking us up to the end of 2024/25).
The UK Government also set out very clear expectations of schools around 2 hours of Physical Education every week and equal access to sports for boys and girls. The announcement also re-states the government’s commitment to £57m for the Opening of School Facilities.
Whilst the funetics programme (created by England Athletics) goes from strength to strength within school and club settings; funding is a significant barrier to ensuring children have access to safe, inclusive and inspiring fundamental movement skills; both in curriculum and non-curriculum sessions.
This announcement includes several significant step changes to emphasise the importance of PE and sport in schools, as well as aims to ensure the public funding being committed reaches those in greatest need:
- New standard for school sports will see girls and boys offered the same sports
- Schools that successfully deliver equal opportunities for girls and boys will be rewarded through the School Games Mark, which will assess parity of provision in PE and extracurricular sport.
- Minimum of 2 hours of quality PE per week to be offered through refreshed School Sport Action Plan
- Alongside this work, Ofsted will be publishing a report into PE in the coming months, which will inform future inspections and set out what they believe is possible in terms of offering high-quality PE and equal access to sports.
Commenting on this announcement, Tracey Francis, Participation Programme Manager said:
“Athletics remains one of the preferred sports within the curriculum, providing all-year-round opportunities for children of both primary and secondary age. It offers the core competencies for skill development and competition structures, through an all-year-round offer. However, greater access to PE for all children is still a challenge but one which England Athletics and funetics is committed to supporting as we continue to innovate and succeed in our delivery.
“Funetics is England Athletics primary school programme, rolling out nationally across England empowering primary school teachers and support staff to deliver fundamental movement skills, contributing to a child’s all round physical literacy through the simple principles of Run, Jump, Throw. It is underpinned with over 100 digital resources in Run, Jump, Throw, a School Sports Day, and Holiday Camp offer, and can be delivered within the curriculum as part of Physical Education and after school as part of extracurricular activities. It is also underpinned by national competitions such as Sportshall, QuadKids, and provides the perfect platform for the Daily Mile.”