School Sport Benefits From Extra Cash Says Research: New research carried out on behalf of the Government suggests that children in nine out of 10 primary schools in England are receiving better PE lessons as a result of additional funding which has been made available. The research, which asked more than 500 schools how they intended to spend the government’s new PE and Sport premium (which has an annual value of £150m), found that more than three quarters of schools had used the money to provide additional equipment or to provide after school sport to pupils.
The concept of the PE and Sport Premium is to provide money directly to Head Teachers to do with as they see best for their school – the fund is worth more than £9,000 per year to a primary school with more than 250 pupils. The policy was introduced amid suggestions that the government had turned its back on the Olympic legacy in the months after London 2012. The PE and Sport Premium will continue to 2020 and is enough to pay a PE teacher for two days a week.
Other findings from the research were also largely positive, with the following key insights gained:
- A fifth of schools said they had used the money to provide completely free after schools sports clubs
- More than four fifths of schools (84%) stated that the cash has helped them to engage pupils better during PE lessons
- A similar number (83%) said more pupils were attending after-school sports clubs
- More than nine in 10 (91%) reported an upsurge in the quality of PE teaching in their school, and the remainder said it had stayed the same
- Almost all schools (96%) said their pupils were fitter and more healthy
- Most schools (93%) said that pupils were better behaved
- Almost two thirds (63%) stated that they had upped the number of competitive fixtures their school plays against other schools
In addition, the research found that the number of schools who were utilising specialist PE teachers had risen from around a fifth (22%) to more than half (54%). The benefits were seen most in schools which had a larger proportion of pupils entitled to free school meals.
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