It shouldn't take the Lionesses Campaign to make No10 take school sport and PE seriously

Posted: Wed, 08 Mar 2023 12:59

It shouldn't take the Lionesses Campaign to make No10 take school sport and PE seriously

It would be churlish not to welcome the £600m announced by the government today for school sport funding. So we won't today, but we will return to the theme of joined up long term commitment to sport, PE and movement at a future date. Todays' money doesn't make that go away.

Whilst the government wrapped this up as a boost for the next generation of lionesses the core funding announcement was much needed. For too long schools have been held in limbo awaiting news about this future for its funding. This annual angst needs to be ended. A long term commitment in core funding for schools needs to be made in the Budget. It shouldn't take the high profile public campaign by the Lionesses to make No10 and the government to take this issue seriously

In reality this package is really positive news for our children and young people who will benefit from dedicated curriculum PE time, improved access to school sports facilities and additional sport and physical activity opportunities through the PE and Sport Premium and School Games Organiser network. So overall

"We also welcome the commitment to giving girls the same sporting opportunities as boys."

The full package announced today includes:

  • Equal access to sports in school – setting out that offering girls and boys the same sports, where it is wanted, is the new standard.
  • Delivering a minimum 2 hours of curriculum PE – with more support being offered through a refreshed School Sport Action Plan.
  • Expansion of the Schools Games Mark – to reward parity of provision for girls – this kitemark scheme, delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, recognises schools that create positive sporting experiences across all sports for young people, supporting them to be active for 60 minutes a day.
  • Over £600 million across the next two years for the PE and Sport Premium – a funding commitment to improve the quality of PE and sports in primary schools to help children benefit from regular activity.
  • A new digital tool for PE and Sport Premium to support schools in using the funding to the best advantage of their pupils.
  • £22 million for two years of further funding for the School Games Organiser (SGO) network. Annually the 450 strong SGO workforce supports 2.2m participation opportunities for children including 28,000 competitive school sport events.
  • Up to £57 million funding for the opening school facilities to open up more school sport facilities outside of school hours especially targeted at girls, disadvantaged pupils and pupils with special educational needs.

Our overall view that this spending needs reform does not go away. There are more effective way to spend the £300m a year by being far more strategic and a little more prescriptive. The various partners like the YST and APs are doing a good job to make sense of the landscape but they all agree there is a better way to spend public investment in schools.

Further details and coverage from today:

School sports given huge boost to level the playing field for next generation of Lionesses - GOV.UK (

Charity welcomes Government announcement for critical school sport funding - Youth Sport Trust

Alliance welcomes further committed support for PE and School Sport | News | Sport and Recreation Alliance

Tags: DCMS, Dfe, Featured, PE, Sport England, Sports Policy, school sport, sport policy