Primary schools in England will be getting £750 million to spend on sports, the Prime Minister has pledged.
The money, which works out at about £8000 per school, is to be spent by headteachers on improving sports lessons – by, for example, paying for specialist coaching and equipment or running afterschool sports clubs.
What this all really boils down to is an extension of the Primary PE and Sport Premium that the Government announced last year. The Premium funding was originally intended to run for two years but the new pledge means it will now run for five more years – until 2020.
“Sport is so important,” said David Cameron as he announced the pledge, “because it encourages children to be active, lead a healthy lifestyle, make friends and, of course, have fun.
“But quality school sport has benefits that spread right across the curriculum and beyond: it develops confidence and a sense of achievement; it teaches young people how to rise to a challenge, and it nurtures the character and skills that will help them get on and succeed in life.”
The new pledge was welcomed by sporting celebes and representatives of football, rugby, tennis and cricket.
But teachers’ representatives pointed out that the new money wouldn’t “add up to a great deal” since primary schools have previously lost sports funding worth £160m a year from the School Sports Partnerships.
A spokesperson for the Labour party also added that, in spite of the pledge, they believe the Coalition has a poor record on school sport – particularly by relaxing rules on how much time schools must devote to sport. “David Cameron has jeopardised our Olympic legacy,” he said, “by removing the requirement that primary children do two hours of sport per week.”