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New £415m funding allocation for schools to promote healthy living

01/03/2017 Joanna

A total of £415 million in new funding is to be made available to schools to help them encourage pupils to live healthier and more active lifestyles.

The money is set to be raised through the Soft Drinks Industry Levy - the so-called sugar tax - and will be available to schools in the 2018 to 2019 financial year. The government has pledged that the amount schools receive will not fall below £415 million, regardless of the amount generated by the sugary drinks levy.

It is intended for primary, secondary and sixth-form colleges that wish to pay for facilities to support physical education, after-school activities and healthy eating programmes. The new healthy pupils capital programme will also help to improve facilities for children with physical conditions, and finance support for young people with mental health issues.

This will go hand in hand with the previously announced funding for PE and sport premium allocations, breakfast clubs and universal infant free school meals, meaning more than £1.3 billion will be offered to schools in the 2018-19 academic year to promote healthier lifestyles.

Education secretary Justine Greening said: "Schools can really help our children get a healthy start in life from exercise and sport, and also from knowing what a healthy diet means. It's not only good for them while they're in education, but the health and wellbeing benefits can last a lifetime."

Local authorities and larger multi-academy trusts will receive an allocation for their schools and will make decisions locally on how this money is invested, while smaller multi-academy trusts, individual academies and sixth-form centres will be able to bid for grants for specific one-off projects.

Further details on how the fund will be distributed will be published later this year, including information on the allocation formula, spending guidance and bidding criteria.

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