The Government has announced £320 million in funding through the PE and Sport Premium for schools in England in the 2020/21 academic year.
The PE and Sport Premium aims to help children get an active start in life and supports primary schools in improving the quality of sport, PE and activity provision to ensure that pupils benefit from regular exercise.
This follows a high-profile campaign from Sir Mo Farah, Hannah Cockroft and Manu Tuilagi, who wrote to the Government calling for the premium to be confirmed, with the campaign being backed by a number of sporting and youth charities.
The fund has been in place since 2013 and is a ring-fenced top-up to school funding to ensure every primary school-age child gets at least 60 minutes of exercise per week.
Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, said: “During these challenging times, it has become clearer to me than ever the importance of keeping active and how it benefits not just our physical health but also our ability to pay attention, our mood and our mental health.
“I know that many children will have missed time spent outdoors with their friends – that’s why it’s so important that ahead of a full return to school in September, schools get the certainty they need to prepare their PE and sports activities for next year.”
It has also been confirmed that any unspent money from the funding for the previous academic year, which has been interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, will be rolled over.
Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of Sport England, said:” We welcome the confirmation of the investment into primary schools for PE, school sport, activity and play.
“It’s never been more needed given the massive disruption to children’s activity levels during lockdown with our research showing that the number of children meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines has dropped from almost 47% to 19%.”