Parents play a vital role in helping their child to get and stay active and healthy. Schools play their part in that too, by providing PE (Physical Education) as part of the curriculum. PE premium is additional funding aimed at increasing the health and fitness of pupils from an early age.
What is PE premium?
The idea is similar to Pupil Premium, in that the government sets aside a lump sum (£320 million has been allocated for 2019/20) to share between schools. In this case, the “PE and sport premium”, to give it its full name, is a dividend for schools. According to DfE guidance, the PE premium should "fund additional and sustainable improvements to the provision of PE and sport, for the benefit of primary-aged pupils" and "encourage the development of healthy, active lifestyles". The funding is distributed via the Local Authority for maintained schools, and paid directly by government to academies and free schools. It is paid out over two lump sums made during the course of one academic year.
Which schools receive PE premium?
All state-funded primary schools and academies in England.
What can PE premium be spent on?
The money is ring-fenced, which means primary schools can only allocate it to the provision of additional PE and sport. Within this boundary, schools decide for themselves how to spend the PE premium in the way that will most benefit the physical health of their pupils. The DfE published its list of suggested funding opportunities to give schools some ideas of how to spend the money.
Who decides how the PE premium is spent?
The DfE survey of primary schools has shown that the top influencers on the spending of PE premium are:
- Head teacher (78%)
- Teachers (51%)
- Senior Leadership Team (58%)
- Governors (41%)
- Pupils (33%)
Do parents have a say in how PE premium is spent?
Parents are not usually consulted on how the PE premium funding is allocated in their school. Government research indicated that only 6% of schools had included parents among those involved in deciding how to spend the PE premium. However, a consultative parent body such as a Parent Council would be able to gauge parental opinion on behalf of school leaders seeking innovation. Information on how PE premium is spent must be made publicly available, so that parents can see how their child’s school has used the funding, and how it has benefited their child. If you are unable to find this information on the school website, speak directly to the school to ask for details. Information is available on the amount of PE premium allocated to individual schools.
How long has it been running for?
The primary PE and sport premium was introduced in March 2013. At the time, the funding was £150 million per year. The amount was increased to £320 million annually from 2017.
How much funding is given to individual schools?
According to DfE data, funding for 2018 to 2019 broke down in the following way:
- Schools with 16 or fewer eligible pupils receive £1,000 per pupil.
- Schools with 17 or more eligible pupils receive £16,000 and an additional payment of £10 per pupil.
How much PE premium was given to my school?
Find out on the government website by downloading the relevant spreadsheet how much PE premium was allocated to your child’s school.
How can I find out how my school spent its PE premium?
There is a government requirement for academies and free schools to publish details of their PE premium spending on their website by 31st July 2019 at the latest.
For schools, there are additional requirements concerning the details that are required to be published on the website. This must include:
- the amount of premium received and a full breakdown on how it has or will be spent
- information about the effect the additional spending has had on pupils' participation and attainment in PE
- data on the proportion of pupils within the Year 6 cohort who can swim competently.
A school failing to publish the information on PE premium spending is breaking the terms for receiving it. If you are unable to find these details on the website by 31st July, ask your school where the information can be found.
Are schools assessed on their spending of PE premium?
Yes, schools inspectorate Ofsted assesses how primary schools use the primary PE and sport premium, the impact on pupils and how effectively governors hold school leaders to account for its spending.
Will PE premium continue beyond next year?
There is currently no certainty about the future of PE premium, and previous commitments to the funding only extended until 2020. The DfE says that allocations and guidance are expected to be published for the 2019/20 PE premium later this year. The government's School Sport and Activity Action Plan was published in July 2019.