Yes, a mere 7 and a half months after the Olympics and its promised legacy, the government has finally put its hands in its pockets to produce some extra funding for PE and sport in schools. £150 m extra funding to be precise to be given to eligible schools over the next two years.
The Government has said (lifted straight from the BBC report) the new scheme will involve:
- Lump sums for schools – a typical primary school with 250 primary-aged pupils would receive £9,250 per year, the equivalent of around two days a week of a primary teacher or a coach’s time
- A greater role for sporting and voluntary organisations, including sport’s National Governing Bodies (NGBs), who will increase the specialist coaching and skills development on offer for primary schools
- Tougher assessment of sport provision by inspectorate Ofsted to ensure the funding is bringing the maximum benefit for all pupils, with schools held to account for how they spend the money
- Sport England investing £1.5m a year of lottery funding through the County Sport partnerships to help schools link up with local sports coaches, clubs and sports governing bodies
- More primary teachers with a particular specialism in PE via a new teacher training scheme.
This is all pretty welcome news to the Sportist dugout. After the crash of the School Sports Partnership in 2010, the role of school in sport seemed an after thought in education, rather than a priority. Yes sport can’t teach you to read and write, but being active and healthy is just as important.
Although the funding will effect both boys and girls, it could finally provide young girls with the opportunity to be exposed to more sport. Without the same sporting role models as the boys have (thanks to our current media stance) and with the present curriculum of sport in primary schools, its no wonder we have so many inactive young girls who in turn grow into inactive young women. With more access to sport within their school day this boost could make sport become a regular part of children’s lives, something they can hopefully take with them as they grow up.
Image from http://yano.co.uk/2012/11/could-your-child-be-the-next-david-beckham/ (thanks!)