About the PE and sport premium

All young people should have the opportunity to live healthy and active lives. A positive experience of sport and physical activity at a young age can build a lifetime habit of participation, and is central to meeting the government’s ambitions for a world-class education system.

Physical activity has numerous benefits for children and young people’s physical health, as well as their mental wellbeing (increasing self-esteem and emotional wellbeing and lowering anxiety and depression), and children who are physically active are happier, more resilient and more trusting of their peers. Ensuring that pupils have access to sufficient daily activity can also have wider benefits for pupils and schools, improving behaviour as well as enhancing academic achievement.

The School Sport and Activity Action Plan set out government’s commitment to ensuring that children and young people have access to at least 60 minutes of sport and physical activity per day, with a recommendation of 30 minutes of this delivered during the school day (in line with the Chief Medical Officer guidelines which recommend an average of at least 60 minutes per day across the week).

The PE and Sport Premium can help primary schools to achieve this aim, providing primary schools with £320m of government funding to make additional and sustainable improvements to the quality of the PE, physical activity and sport offered through their core budgets. It is allocated directly to schools so they have the flexibility to use it in the way that works best for their pupils. The PE and Sport Premium survey highlighted the significant impact which PE and Sport has had in many primary schools across England.

Ofsted’s new Inspection Framework, which came into effect from September 2019, gives greater recognition to schools’ work to support the personal development of pupils, such as the opportunities they have to learn about eating healthily and maintaining an active lifestyle. Inspectors will expect to see schools delivering a broad, ambitious education, including opportunities to be active during the school day and through extra-curricular activities. Schools should consider how they use their PE and Sport Premium to support this.

How to use the PE and sport premium

Schools must use the funding to make additional and sustainable improvements to the quality of their physical education (PE), physical activity and sport.

This means that you should use the premium to:

  • develop or add to the PE, physical activity and sport that your school provides
  • build capacity and capability within the school to ensure that improvements made now will benefit pupils joining the school in future years

Schools should use the premium to secure improvements in the following 5 key indicators.

Engagement of all pupils in regular physical activity, for example by:

  • providing targeted activities or support to involve and encourage the least active children
  • encouraging active play during break times and lunchtimes
  • establishing, extending or funding attendance of school sport clubs and activities and holiday clubs, or broadening the variety offered
  • adopting an active mile initiative
  • raising attainment in primary school swimming to meet requirements of the national curriculum before the end of key stage 2. Every child should leave primary school able to swim

Profile of PE and sport is raised across the school as a tool for whole-school improvement, for example by:

  • encouraging pupils to take on leadership or volunteer roles that support sport and physical activity within the school (such as ‘sport leader’ or peer-mentoring schemes)
  • embedding physical activity into the school day through active travel to and from school, active break times and active lessons and teaching

Increased confidence, knowledge and skills of all staff in teaching PE and sport, for example by:

  • providing staff with professional development, mentoring, training and resources to help them teach PE and sport more effectively to all pupils, and embed physical activity across your school
  • hiring qualified sports coaches to work alongside teachers to enhance or extend current opportunities

Broader experience of a range of sports and activities offered to all pupils, for example by:

  • introducing new sports and physical activities (such as dance, yoga or fitness sessions) to encourage more pupils to take up sport and physical activities
  • partnering with other schools to run sport activities and clubs
  • providing more (or broadening the variety of) extra-curricular activities after school in the 3 to 6pm window, delivered by the school or other local sport organisations

Increased participation in competitive sport, for example by:

  • increasing pupils’ participation in the School Games
  • organising, coordinating or entering more sport competitions or tournaments within the school or across the local area, including those run by sporting organisations.

These Good Practice Examples produced by Active Derbyshire and Active Notts give further suggestions for how your PE and Sport Premium might be used to deliver on the 5 key indicators.

Your local Active Partnership can provide further advice on how best to use your PE and Sport Premium. Active Partnerships coordinate the local availability of PE, school sport and physical activity, and can help schools find the right sport opportunities and facilities. Where appropriate, you could also ask your local School Games Organiser for advice.

The Association for PE has produced a PE and Sport Premium FAQ which may also be helpful in deciding how you wish to use your funding.

Active mile

Where schools choose to take part in an active mile, you should use your existing playgrounds, fields, halls and sports facilities to incorporate an active mile into the school day and develop a lifelong habit of daily physical activity.

Raising attainment in primary school swimming

Swimming is a national curriculum requirement and by the end of key stage 2 pupils are expected to be able to swim confidently and know how to be safe in and around water. The 3 national curriculum requirements for swimming and water safety are to:

  • swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
  • perform a safe self-rescue in different water based situations
  • use a range of strokes effectively

The premium can be used to fund the professional development and training that is available to schools to train staff to support high quality swimming and water safety lessons for their pupils.

The premium may also be used to provide additional top-up swimming lessons to pupils who have not been able to meet the 3 national curriculum requirements for swimming and water safety – after the delivery of core swimming and water safety lessons.

Schools are required to publish information on the percentage of their pupils in year 6 who met each of the 3 swimming and water safety national curriculum requirements. Further details are in the online reporting section of this guidance.

Further information on training and resources, including advice on the use of the PE and Sport Premium, is available from Swim England.

What your funding should not be used for

You should not use your funding to:

  • employ coaches or specialist teachers to cover planning preparation and assessment (PPA) arrangements – these should come out of your core staffing budgets
  • teach the minimum requirements of the national curriculum – with the exception of top-up swimming lessons after pupils’ completion of core lessons (or, in the case of academies and free schools, to teach your existing PE curriculum)
  • fund capital expenditure – the Department for Education does not set the capitalisation policy for each school. School business managers, school accountants and their auditors are best placed to advise on a school’s agreed capitalisation policy