LCB Welcomes Funding Boost of £150m for Primary School Sport
Primary school sport is set to be transformed thanks to a £150m-a-year boost that will improve coaching for the youngest pupils in England.
London 2012 gave Britain a once in a lifetime opportunity to inspire a nation to enjoy sport and the Government wants to embed that into the school day from an early age.
The Government is providing funding of £150 million per annum for academic years 2013-14 and 2014-15 to provide new, substantial sport funding in every state primary school in England. This funding is being jointly provided by the Department for Education (£80m), the Department of Health (£60m) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (£10m), which will see money going directly to primary school headteachers to spend on improving the quality of sport and PE for all their children.
What does it mean? The new sports funding aims to improve the quality of provision by providing:
- A lump sum for each school, with a per-pupil top-up. A typical primary school with 250 primary aged pupils would receive £9,250 per year.
- ‘Ring-fenced’ funding that’s only to be spent on sport which will go directly into the hands of heads and teachers.
- A greater role for Britain’s best sporting and voluntary organisations, including National Governing Bodies who will increase the specialist coaching and skills development on offer for primary schools.
- Tougher assessment of sport provision via Ofsted to ensure the funding is bringing the maximum benefit for all pupils, with schools held to account for how they spend the money.
- Sport England investing £1.5 million a year of lottery funding through the County Sport Partnerships to help Primary Schools link up with local sports coaches, clubs and sports governing bodies.
- New provision as part of initial teacher training to produce a cadre of primary teachers with a particular specialism in PE. This is being developed in conjunction with sporting bodies and will start with a pilot covering 120 primary teachers, with the first of these beginning work in schools in September 2013.
Hugh Robertson (Minister of State for Sport and Tourism) commented: “Government’s £150 million a year investment to primary schools will go direct to headteachers to spend on sport. They’ll be able to use that how they see fit – as long as it’s spent on quality sport provision.
“They’ll be able to bring FA qualified coaches in to teach football or get cricket coaches in from the ECB. They’ll be able to train their own teachers up to take PE lessons or invest in new equipment. It’ll make sport accessible and fun in primary schools, with experts in charge.
“Good coaching at an early age can help develop the next Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah or Ellie Simmonds but, more importantly, it can help children enjoy sport, lead healthy lifestyles and learn crucial lessons for life about winning and losing.”
ECB Chief Executive David Collier said: “We welcome the fact that more funding has been set aside to deliver sport and PE in Primary Schools and that funding has been ring fenced and hopefully measured. Cricket already delivers ASDA Kwik Cricket and Cricket Foundation’s Chance to Shine initiatives within schools along with teacher training programmes. We hope that this funding will open up access to more schools, for us to deliver more resources to teachers to help them to improve physical literacy and provide an introduction to the game which is adapted to meet the needs of children at a Primary School level.”
LCB Education Manager Rudra Singh added: “The LCB welcomes this announcement and the Government’s commitment to invest directly into sport within Primary Schools. Making sure boys and girls of all abilities receive quality physical education at the earliest ages is essential and Cricket can play a key part in meeting this challenge. The Lancashire Cricket Board already delivers Cricket Foundation’s Chance to Shine initiatives within schools along with teacher training programmes and boys and girls have access to competitive match play opportunities through ASDA Kwik Cricket Competitions both indoors and outdoors. We want all young people to lead active, healthy lives and through Chance to Shine we have a proven track record of delivering cricket coaching to nearly 300,000 children in primary and secondary schools countywide. Over 20,000 competitive matches have taken place and almost 1000 teachers have gone through teacher training programmes. We trust that this funding will help schools to sustain the delivery of cricket programmes and therefore allow us to carry on delivering quality learning experience for children at a Primary School level.”
The Lancashire Cricket Board Schools Affiliation Package will be available soon for both Primary and Secondary Schools offering a huge range of benefits which would include:
- Breakfast clubs
- In curriculum coaching
- After school coaching
- School sports clubs
- Entry to all LCB outdoor and indoor competitions
- Teachers Training (CPD)
- Cricket Young Leaders Courses
- Access to free equipment
- Access to local cricket clubs
- Access to facilities funding advice