Government urged to clarify future of PE and sport funding for primary schools – Children & Young People Now

In an open letter to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, the Youth Sports Trust said uncertainty over the provision of the primary PE and sport premium was “actively undermining” the ability of primary schools to plan their provision from September.

The charity said sport and physical education would have a vital role to play in helping young people recover from the consequences of several months of lockdown imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic once they start their return to school.

Challenges faced by schools as a result of the coronavirus crisis were likely to be greater than ever before, said Ali Oliver, the charity’s chief executive.

Issues such as rebuilding self-confidence, regaining fitness and supporting wider wellbeing could be addressed if schools were confident funding would be in place for 2020/211, she explained.

Recent data from Sport England shows almost one in three children have been less physically active during lockdown and one in ten have done no physical activity at all.

Former education secretary Nicky Morgan is supporting the charity’s call for confirmation over the funding’s future, tabling a written question asking the Department for Education to clarity its position.

The DFE has until 24 June to submit its response.

Now in its seventh year, the primary PE and sport premium fund is allocated annually to primary schools in England to support and improve their delivery of physical education.

Oliver said it was essential there was a public narrative about the importance of children’s health and wellbeing.

Schools should also be encouraged and resourced to deliver high quality and inclusive programmes of physical education and sport, she added.

“At a time of so much uncertainty, the confirmation of the primary PE and sport premium would not only send a message about the importance of young people’s health and wellbeing at this time but will also help schools to do the very best for children,” she said.

The charity works with around 20,000 schools across the UK to develop and deliver resources, training and programmes to support young people in PE and sport.

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