How NOT to spend your PE and Sport Premium

November 2017

The big news this week is that the Government has released its guidance on spending of the PE and Sport Premium. This article explains the funding and how it should (and shouldn’t) be spent.

If you’re a school with primary age children, whether local authority, academy, special school or non-maintained special school, CTC, or PRU, you’ll have been waiting for news of the PE and Sport Premium. The news is out and, depending on the number of pupils, schools will receive somewhere in the region of double their previous year’s pot.

How much will we receive?

Schools with 16 or fewer eligible pupil receive £1,000 per pupil. Schools with 17 or more eligible pupils receive £16,000 plus £10 per pupil.

‘Eligible pupil’ numbers are worked out on the basis of the number of pupils in Years 1-6. In cases where Year groups aren’t followed, pupils aged 5-10 are ‘eligible’. In most cases the January 2017 school census will be used.

When will we receive our funding?

It depends.

Maintained schools will receive their funding from the local authority. The local authority will receive the funding in 2 payments;

7/12 of your funding allocation on 31st October 2017

The remaining 5/12 of on 30th April 2018

Academies, free schools and CTCs will receive their funding from the Education Skills and Funding Agency in 2 payments;

7/12 of your funding allocation on 1st November 2017

The remaining 5/12 of on 1st May 2018

(Non-maintained special schools will receive their funding from the ESFA in their first payment after these dates.)

Can we spend it on whatever we like?

Yes and no.

Schools must use the PE and Sport Premium to make additional and sustainable improvements to the quality of PE and sport they offer. It is ring-fenced and so it must be spent on this purpose. Beyond that, though, the funding is fairly flexible in terms of what schools can provide.

There are 5 key indicators in the new guidance which allow you to evaluate your planned spending to check it against the requirements.

PE and Sport Premium funding must;

  • Improve the engagement of all pupils in regular physical activity – the Chief Medical Officer guidelines recommend that all children and young people aged 5-18 engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day, of which 30 minutes should be in school
  • Raise the profile of PE and sport across the school as a tool for whole-school improvement
  • Increase confidence, knowledge and skills of all staff in teaching PE and sport
  • Provide broader experience of a range of sports and activities offered to all pupils
  • Increase participation in competitive sport

How should we NOT spend our PE and Sport funding?

  • On things that DON’T develop or add to the PE and sport activities that your school offers already. It should improve the offering not only for current pupils, but those who are yet to join the school.
  • On the employment of coaches or specialist teachers to deliver all PE lessons or cover PPA – funding for any of these roles should come out of core staffing budgets
  • On teaching the National Curriculum minimum requirements (or, for academies and free schools, teaching your existing PE curriculum). This includes swimming!

The good news is that there are lots of brilliant things that you CAN spend your funding on, for whole-school impact, building the confidence, knowledge and skills of all staff in teaching PE and providing broader experience to engage all pupils in all sorts of sports, including competitive sport.

What sort of things CAN we spend our funding on?

Some great examples of ways to spend the funding include;

  • Supporting and encouraging the least active children by providing targeted activities in school, after school and in the holidays. Do you record who attends clubs and make sure that those who are least active (particularly around girls and boys, SEND or Pupil Premium children) are being included?
  • Providing training, mentoring and resources to all staff to build their confidence, skills and knowledge of teaching PE. Do you know which staff are confident in teaching PE, or even confident with their own physical activity? How could you support them to build their confidence?
  • Introducing new and different sports or other physical activities which might not be ‘traditional’ school sports. Do you know what alternative or different physical activities your pupils might like to try? Why not ask them to take a survey or nominate a sport they’d love to have a go at, then find a local club who can help.
  • Enter or run more competitions. Do you get involved with your local School Games Competitions? Do you know what is on offer? The School Games is free to get involved with – why not check out the School Games Website for more details.
  • Look at ways to make the school day more active. How could you encourage parents to get more activity on the school run? Could you incorporate activity into your lessons? How might initiatives like the Daily Mile benefit pupils and staff at your school?
  • Think ‘outside the box’. What additional activities, support or new initiatives would you love to introduce to improve the lives of your pupils and staff? This might be your perfect opportunity!

Who cares how we spend it?

Lots of people!

For starters, Ofsted inspections will assess how primary schools are using their PE and Sport funding, measuring its impact on pupil outcomes and how effectively school governors hold schools to account.

You must report online by 4th April 2018 how you spend your PE and Sport funding, including the amount you receive, a full breakdown of your spending and not only the impact but the sustainability of that impact. You must also publish how many pupils within your Y6 cohort meet the National Curriculum requirement for swimming (namely to swim competently, confidently and proficiently over at least 25m using a range of strokes and perform safe self-rescue in various water based scenarios).

The good news is that there is a brilliant template for reporting designed by the Association for PE (AfPE) and the Youth Sport Trust.

Random accountability reviews will also be carried out, post-reporting, in every region.

Where can I get further advice?

We are always here to help schools with advice on things like spending of PE and Sport Premium, PE strategy and in particular how to get the best out of your PE and Sport across a trust or with particular focus on girls’ and female school staff members’ confidence in physical activity. Email us on or call us on 01226 982 516 for whatever support you need.

Further advice can be found in all sort of useful places such as;

Your local County Sport Partnership (CSP) – in West and South Yorkshire this is the Yorkshire Sport Foundation

Sport England’s website has more advice along with some helpful short films produced along with AfPE, the Youth Sport Trust, CSPs and Sports Coach UK.

The teacher blog and Sports Coach UK’s ‘coaching in primary schools toolkit’ also have some helpful best practice advice.

For the official guidance go to and for allocations and official conditions of grant go to