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Advice and guidance to Governors and Head Teachers on the use of the Premium Funding for Physical Education & Sport 2015-2016

Latest www.gov.uk communications on the Premium Funding for PE & School Sport advise that primary schools must spend the grant on making 'additional and sustainable improvements to the provision of PE and sport for the benefit of all pupils to encourage the development of healthy, active lifestyles'. This cross-departmental funding secured until 2020, is a small part of the Governments' multi-agency approach to tackling rising levels of physical inactivity and obesity in children; and is keenly targeted at Key Stages 1 & 2, where a window of opportunity occurs to help reverse a worrying national trend (5th fattest county in England- Northamptonshire 67.5%). Evidence suggests that the better performing schools (and colleges) in increasing Physical Education (and therefore in the most effective use of this funding) have invested in the following areas of development:-

  1. Provision of a high quality PE curriculum scheme that is firmly embedded in delivery by all staff in the schools, i.e. real PE, etc. (ref. Department for Education)
  2. Commitment to a programme of formal physical activity including The School Games and/or Multi-Skills Festivals (ref. DCMS)
  3. Engagement in a range of informal physical activities, i.e. lunchtime recreational activities (ref. Department for Health)
  4. Adoption of a policy of active transport, i.e. Bikeability that encourages children to take on more active methods of getting to and from their schools (ref. Department for Transport)

(Source: What works in schools and colleges to increase physical activity? A briefing for head teachers, college principals, staff working in education settings, directors of public health and wider partners, October 2015)

There is unequivocal evidence to suggest that PE & School Sport can contribute to 'character education' and help create opportunities to deliver the cross-curricular links that help embed key subject areas, i.e. numeracy and literacy. In addition, a well considered programme of PE & School Sport can promote the vision and ethos of the school by reinforcing the importance of health and wellbeing.

Inevitably, it is unrealistic to expect schools to undertake all interventions and Head Teachers will select those activities that may well have a maximum impact on their children given the many challenges and priorities facing the school. Governors may provide a robust check and challenge to ensure that such interventions have been considered in the vision for the school. Impact upon pupil progress, attendance, participation, satisfaction and well-being are key measures to be considered when reviewing the success of specific interventions (Ofsted Dashboard). Understandably, Governors should also consider how sustainable these interventions are, given that the funding may well be withdrawn in the future. In considering how to spend the money, Governors should also be aware that the following activities do not fall within the scope of additional or sustainable improvement:

  • Employing coaches or specialist teachers to cover planning preparation and assessment (PPA) arrangements - these should come out of schools' core staffing budgets. It is advised that coaches should work closely with teachers to embed the technical delivery of the fundamentals of physical literacy and/or reinforcing the National Curriculum.
  • Teaching the minimum requirements of the national curriculum PE programmes of study - including those specified for swimming.

In addition, when reporting on the use of the funding, maintained schools, including those that convert to academies must publish information about their use of the premium on the schools' website by 4 April 2016. Schools have been told that they must include the minimum information:

  • the amount of premium funding received;
  • a full breakdown of how the funding has been spent (or will be spent);
  • what impact the school has seen on pupils' PE and sport participation and attainment and how these improvements will be sustainable in the future.

The Youth Sport Trust (YST) and the Association for Physical Education (afPE) have collaboratively produced new guidance and a template to support schools in evidencing the impact of the Primary PE and Sport Premium and this can be found at:

https://www.youthsporttrust.org/accountability

The Governance Handbook (Ofsted) reinforces the advice and guidance sent to Head Teachers and challenges the school to explain:

  • Is the school offering a good range of sports, arts and voluntary activities? Is school food healthy and popular?
  • Is the school encouraging the development of healthy, active lifestyles by using the PE and sport premium for primary schools to fund additional and sustainable improvements to the provision of PE and sport?

Edward Timpson, children and families Minister at the Department for Education has provided further advice and guidance in an article for the National Governors' Association highlighting the role of the Governor. He has provided a set of 'QUESTIONS FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL GOVERNORS TO ASK THEIR HEADTEACHERS (Source: Governors' Matters, NGA)'

1. Who is reviewing the school's PE provision and what areas for development have they identified?

2. Has the school got (or should it consider) a designated subject leader for PE? What is their role in deciding how the premium should be spent?

3. What specific outcomes does the school aim to achieve with the primary PE and sport premium? For example, in terms of improving progress and skills, better attendance, increasing opportunities and activities.

4. How is the premium being used to enhance, rather than maintain, existing provision?

5. How will these improvements be sustainable in the long term? What will the impact of the changes that the school is making now be on pupils arriving at the school in five to 10 years' time?

6. Does the school website include a breakdown of how the premium is being spent and a report on its impact on pupils?

7. Have the new grant conditions and guidance been considered when planning how to spend the funding?

8. Have staff accessed resources (from gov.uk or other sources) to support effective use of the primary PE and sport premium?

9. Where external specialist coaches are being used in curriculum time, are they working alongside class teachers to improve their skills – securing long-term impact? (Coaches should not be used to deliver PE as part of planning, preparation and assessment [PPA] arrangements.)

10. Where external providers are being used either in PE lessons or extra-curricular activities, how is the school assessing the quality and impact of their delivery?

Further support can be provided to Governors of schools, academy trusts and/or those represented on cluster groups of schools through the County Sports Partnership, Northamptonshire Sport. Steve Jones (steve.jones@firstforwellbeing.co.uk) is the County School Sport Manager for Northamptonshire Sport and he:

  • Manages the implementation of the Strategic Plan for PE and School Sport,
  • Provides significant advisory support to the 5 Partnership School Sport Managers and schools that they represent,
  • Undertakes extensive development work in the coordination of a programme of Continuing Professional Development for Teachers,
  • Liaises with key stakeholders (Governors Support Team, County Sports Partnership Network, Youth Sports Trust, Sports Leaders UK, Association of PE, etc.).

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