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New funding for primary school sport

20/03/2013 Joanna
Primary teachers specialised in PE could be particularly in demand in future as the result of a new government initiative designed to increase participation in school sport.

The government has allocated £150 million per year for bolstering primary school PE, with each school to receive a lump sum and per-pupil top-up, meaning an average school with 250 pupils would receive around £9,250 per year.

Under this new scheme, the funding will be ring-fenced for sport, while heads and teachers will be given the freedom to decide how best to use it, whether it be for specialist coach and teacher training, or for running sports programmes and clubs.

Moreover, there will be a new provision as part of initial teacher training to produce a new cadre of primary school teachers with a specialism in PE, which will begin with a pilot of 120 teachers who will commence working in schools as of September 2013.

Britain's sporting and voluntary organisations will also play a greater role in primary school sport provision, including national governing bodies who will offer more specialist coaching and skills development opportunities.

Ofsted will also undertake tougher assessments of sport provision in schools to ensure this funding is being used effectively, starting with a survey on the first year's expenditure and its impact.

Education secretary Michael Gove commented: "We must harness the sporting spirit of [the London 2012 Olympics] for all our young people.

"We have listened to teachers and to Ofsted, who have said that sport provision in our primary schools is far too often just not up to scratch. That is why we are putting money directly into the hands of primary head teachers to spend it on improving PE in their schools."

The education watchdog recently reported that while sport provision in schools had improved since 2008, one in four schools did not make PE lessons strenuous enough, while very few schools played competitive sport to a high level or adapted programmes for overweight and obese pupils.

Posted by Tim ColmanADNFCR-2164-ID-801559083-ADNFCR
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