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ukactive has issued the following statement in response to the Government’s announcement today (5 July) on the PE and Sport Premium

ukactive welcomes the Government’s commitment today to continue the PE and Sport Premium, at £320 million for the academic year 2020/21.

Additionally, the Department for Education has authorised the rollover of any PE and Sport Premium funding that has not been used in the current academic year (2019/20), due to COVID-19, into the next academic year.

At a time of great hardship and challenge, this funding will go a long way in ensuring that a firm focus on the health and wellbeing of our children and young people is central to school life from September.

Schools sit at the heart of communities and are critical settings for supporting children’s health and wellbeing.

This continued funding will enable schools and their wider workforce to maximise and diversify the physical activity options available, supporting children to be as active as possible before, during, and after the school day.

Fun, meaningful and inclusive physical activity should be a normal part of children’s daily school routines in order to provide a platform for lifelong participation – from the commute to and from school, engagement in high-quality PE lessons and varied extra-curricular programmes, to active breaks and physically active learning.

While this is a positive step, it is important that with a commitment to this funding comes a renewed focus on accountability and evidence, best practice and sector-wide collaboration.

There must also be an emphasis on supporting the most vulnerable children and young people at a time when inequalities have been greatly exacerbated by COVID-19.

As we welcome this announcement, ukactive urges the Government to use this as an opportunity to empower governors, head teachers, school staff and their wider communities to plan for the long term, as part of a national strategy and whole-school community approach to improving the health of children and young people.