Several of the schools I work with have asked for advice on using the sports premium effectively.
Indeed, measuring the impact of the funding appears to be high on the current inspection agenda. Below, I look at the objectives of the premium, key dates and figures regarding funding, suggestions on how to use the sport premium effectively, and key measures of success.
Four objectives for 2016-17
1. Improve the quality of existing P.E. teaching
To improve the quality of existing P.E. teaching through continual professional development for P.E. teachers, so that all primary pupils improve their health, skills and physical literacy, and have broader exposure to a range of sports.
Essentially this is about up-skilling teachers so that all teachers are confident and competent to deliver high quality P.E. lessons. Teacher CPD can of course be accessed through external sources, or in-house P.E. specialist teachers.
2. Increase participation levels
To increase participation levels in competitive sport and healthy activity of pupils, and maintain these into adolescence.
Increasing participation in competitive sports between primary schools lends itself well to cluster group or MAT tournaments. Increasing healthy activity might focus on specific groups of pupils, for example increasing the participation of girls in after-school sports clubs.
3. Increase the quality of initial teacher training and promote P.E. specialisation
To increase the quality of initial teacher training in P.E. and sport, and to promote P.E. specialisation in the primary level workforce.
Thinking back to my teacher training, I can barely recall two 90 minute sessions on teaching P.E! Teachers tend to teach the sports we participate in or follow effectively, and have to develop knowledge and skills of other sports from largely informal sources. Personally, being in a Manchester school, it was a crash course in football from an absolutely brilliant T.A. Speaking to current NQTs, I know there is still a significant need for ITT providers to increase the quality of their P.E. provision.
4. Endorse P.E. and sport as a tool for whole school improvement
To ensure that schools understand and value the benefits of high quality P.E. and sport, including its use as a tool for whole school improvement.
I’m a great believer in this; increasing participation in sport and healthy activity really is a tool for whole school improvement. Confidence, determination, self-discipline, the importance of teamwork and the satisfaction of achieving a goal are invaluable qualities to develop in children, qualities that are relevant in every curriculum subject, and in wider life.
A good place to start is to review your P.E. and sports provision using these objectives in order to identify where priorities lie.
Key funding dates and figures for schools and academies
- Schools receive P.E. and sport premium funding based on the number of pupils in years 1 to 6 (data from the January 2016 school census)
- If you are a new school or a school teaching eligible pupils for the first time in the academic year 2016 to 2017, the DfE bases your funding on data from the Autumn 2016 school census
- Funding equates to around £150m per year, so it is crucial to have an action plan and measure impact
- Schools with 16 or fewer eligible pupils receive £500 per pupil; schools with 17 or more eligible pupils receive £8,000 and an additional payment of £5 per pupil
- Maintained schools: 7/12 of your funding was allocated on 29 October 2016; with the remaining 5/12 of your funding being allocated on 27 April 2017, direct from the DfE
- Academies: 7/12 of your funding was allocated on 1 November 2016, with the remaining 5/12 of your funding being allocated on 1 May 2017. Funds are sent from The Education Funding Agency (EFA).
How to use the sport premium effectively
Schools must use the funding to make additional and sustainable improvements to the quality of P.E. and sport they offer. This means that you should use the premium to develop or add to the P.E. and sport activities that your school already offers, and to make improvements now that will benefit pupils joining the school in future years.
For example, you can use your funding to:
- Employ qualified sports coaches to work with teachers
- Provide existing staff with training or resources
- Introduce new sports or activities and encourage more pupils to take up sport
- Support and involve the least active children by running or extending school sports clubs
- Organise and run sport competitions and activities with other schools.
You should not use your funding to:
- Employ coaches or specialist teachers to cover planning preparation and assessment (PPA) arrangements
- Teach the minimum requirements of the national curriculum.
Measures of success
Once you have reviewed your provision using the four objectives above, and decided on your priority areas, the next step is to write an action plan linked to the four objectives. Action plans of course will be individual to each school or academy, but as a rough guide, measures of success linked to each objective are suggested below:
- Increased teacher confidence in delivering high quality P.E. (staff survey)
- Increased quality of equipment and resources for P.E. lessons (pupil and staff survey)
- Diversification of the range of sports offered during P.E. and after school clubs. Use pupil surveys to explore new or different sports that children might like to try, then use this information to tailor sports provision to pupils’ interests. For example, you may hire a basketball coach or dance specialist to work with teachers to develop their skills and improve pupils’ provision
- Developing or establishing inter-school competitions and tournaments to increase participation in competitive sport.
- Increased participation in after-school clubs, possibly focusing on a specific group of pupils (after-school club attendance data)
- Increased participation in healthy activity, such as walking to school, morning shake up/exercise
- Increased participation in healthy lunchtime sports and activities
- Increased awareness of healthy eating (planning and work scrutiny, pupil and staff surveys)
- Developing links and joint working with local high schools to increase understanding of sports provision at secondary level, and the actions primaries could take to help ensure pupils maintain participation levels into adolescence. One way of doing this is to develop a coaching programme where secondary students (under the guidance of their teacher) coach primary pupils. Older students passionate about a sport are fantastic role models for younger pupils. The secondary students also benefit greatly from developing their coaching and leadership skills.
- Development of P.E. leader network meetings
- Increase the use of specialist P.E. teachers/coaches to work with teachers to improve the quality of P.E. teaching
- Review and develop provision for trainees teachers on placements and NQTs in school to enable them to access high quality P.E. CPD.
- Increased use of the skills established and developed in P.E. lessons (confidence, determination, teamwork etc.) demonstrated and embedded in classroom learning.
- Improved behaviour of key groups of children.
- Increased awareness of healthy lifestyles among pupils and their families (pupil and family surveys).
- Increased participation in after-school clubs and sports tournaments for key groups of pupils.
- Improved attendance in school for key groups of pupils.
Finally, ensure your review and action plan state the following and are published (DfE website compliance):
- How much funding you received
- A full breakdown of how you have spent the funding or will spend the funding
- The effect of the premium on pupils’ P.E. and sport participation and attainment
- How you will ensure improvements are sustainable.
Sources of further information
One Education can support you to review the use of your sport premium grant, and to plan how you will spend the funding to improve the quality of pupils’ P.E., increase sports participation, and improve attainment. For more information, contact the One Education School Improvement Team on 0844 967 1111.
Authored by Fay Gingell.