All young people should have the opportunity to live healthy and active lives. A positive experience of sport and physical activity at a young age can build a lifetime habit of participation and is central to meeting the government’s ambitions for a world-class education system.
Physical activity has numerous benefits for children and young people’s physical health, as well as their mental wellbeing (increasing self-esteem and emotional wellbeing and lowering anxiety and depression), and children who are physically active are happier, more resilient and more trusting of their peers. Ensuring that pupils have access to sufficient daily activity can also have wider benefits for pupils and schools, improving behaviour as well as enhancing academic achievement.
The School Sport and Activity Action Plan set out government’s commitment to ensuring that children and young people have access to at least 60 minutes of sport and physical activity per day, with a recommendation of 30 minutes of this delivered during the school day (in line with the Chief Medical Officers guidelines which recommend an average of at least 60 minutes per day across the week).
The PE and sport premium can help primary schools to achieve this aim, providing primary schools with £320m of government funding to make additional and sustainable improvements to the quality of the PE, physical activity and sport offered through their core budgets. It is allocated directly to schools so they have the flexibility to use it in the way that works best for their pupils.
Schools must use the funding to make additional and sustainable improvements to the quality of the physical education (PE), physical activity and sport they provide.
Schools should use the PE and sport premium to secure improvements in the following 5 key indicators.
Engagement of all pupils in regular physical activity
Profile of PE and sport is raised across the school as a tool for whole-school improvement
Increased confidence, knowledge and skills of all staff in teaching PE and sport
Broader experience of a range of sports and activities offered to all pupils
Increased participation in competitive sport
Swimming is a national curriculum requirement. The 3 requirements for swimming and water safety are that by the end of key stage 2 pupils should be taught to:
swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
use a range of strokes effectively, for example, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke
perform a safe self-rescue in different water-based situations