The Government has introduced new rules relating to how much PE and sport premium funding primary schools receive in the academic year 2017 to 2018 and how they can spend it.
Schools must use the funding to make sustainable improvements to the quality of PE on offer and advance any activity that could beneficially improve or develop capability of pupils.
The new guidelines include key indicators were schools should expect to see improvement. This includes an improved profile of PE across the school, how sport can be an effective way of increasing confidence and participation in a wider range of sports. There is also an expectation that skills and knowledge from PE staff is improved so that they can introduce a broader range of activities to all pupils.
The sport premium funding can be used to achieve this, for example, through staff training costs or for the hire of additional equipment so that new sports can be introduced. Swimming and the national curriculum.
For the 2017 to 2018 academic year, in response to the Swim Group, who reviewed curriculum swimming and water safety in primary schools, pupils are now required to be at a certain competent level in swimming. Schools are now required to publish how many pupils within their year 6 cohort are meeting the national curriculum requirement to swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 meters.
Pupils must also be able to use a range of strokes effectively and perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations. The sport funding can be used to provide additional swimming provision for pupils that are struggling to meet the requirements set by the national curriculum.
It is worth noting that that funding cannot be used to teach the basics or minimum requirements – particularly swimming. The funding also cannot be used to cover existing PE curriculum or employ coaches or specialist teachers to cover for planning preparation.
Schools are required to publish details of how the sport premium funding is used on their website by 4 April 2018. This must include reporting requirements for year 6 swimming competency. Accountability reviews will take place in April 2018 on a sample number of schools in each local authority with the schools chosen being based on a mix of random selection and prior non-compliance with the online reporting requirements.
There is further information available on the gov.uk website. Alternatively, if you would like more information about any of the above please contact your usual Wilkins Kennedy partner or Michelle Wilkes, Head of Academies.
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