EDUCATION bosses across Staffordshire received a major boost this week with the announcement of a £150million Government funding package to support PE and school sports.
Announced by Prime Minister David Cameron the new Sport Premium funding, jointly provided by the Departments of Education, Health and Culture and Media and Sport, will see cash handed directly to primary school heads to spend on improving the quality of sport and PE for their pupils.
Development manager for the Stafford and Stone School Sports Partnership Steve Glover, said he was thrilled the Government had acknowledged the importance of PE and sport in education.
“This is a huge opportunity to provide a real legacy but also to really drive up standards across the whole district,” he said.
Under the new arrangements, any school with 17 or more primary-aged pupils will receive a lump sum of £8000 plus a premium of £5 per pupil with smaller schools receiving £500 per pupil.
Schools will be held to account over how they spend the funds with Ofsted strengthening its coverage of sport and PE within the Inspectors’ Handbook and supporting guidance to clarify how PE and sport will be assesses as part of the school’s overall provision.
Schools will be required to detail their sporting provision on their website alongside curriculum details so parents can compare school’s provision both during and beyond the school day.
Mr Glover said he would be meeting headteachers from primary and secondary schools to plan how they could work in partnership to ensure the highest quality sporting provision for pupils.
“With so much new finance coming into this area, there is a risk that individuals with only a focus on the money could look to be involved,” he said. “Schools must ensure high quality provision is at the forefront of all thoughts.”
He said it was anticipated that as much as £700,000 would come to schools with the Stafford and Stone School Sport Partnership over the next two years.
Mr Glover said the last two years had been challenging and thanked Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy and Dr Rowena Blencowe at Stafford Sports College for their consistent support.
The sport premium will be paid for the two academic years 2013/14 and 2014/15.