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Neil Cameron

Sports Works urges vigilance over PE funding

National provider of sport programmes warns primary schools to be vigilant about government funding for PE

Posted by Hannah Oakman | May 12, 2015 | Sports & leisure

North East-based Sport Works, which offers continued professional development (CPD) opportunities for teaching and non-teaching school staff with the aim of achieving outstanding PE, advises schools to carefully consider how the funding is spent in order to ensure it is also received for the next academic year.

Neil Cameron, managing director of Sport Works, commented: “There is limited guidance from the government on how schools should be using the funding provided and it is far from prescriptive, which contributes to a lack of clarity. The aim is for schools to improve the quality of the PE and sport activities they offer pupils, and they have plenty of freedom when it comes to choosing how they spend the money.

“Unfortunately, if it is spent in a way that does not comply with government criteria, then it is possible that schools will have funding withdrawn for the following year. For example, whilst it can be used to hire specialist PE teachers, specialist sports coaches and managers to improve teaching skills, it should not be spent on transport to away games, swimming pools and staff to cover Planning, Preparation and Assessment (PPA) time – things that are easy for schools to mistakenly invest in if they are not aware of this.

“Of course, Head Teachers should be creative when allocating available funding, but we are aware of some schools that are not using the PE money as it has been intended and that have come under detailed scrutiny from OFSTED as a result. With the intention of the funding being primarily to produce a legacy, I would advise that schools keep this front of mind when allocating the money for each academic year.”

The schools sector is currently facing significant challenges. With OFSTED now increasingly inspecting the PE provision in schools, there is more pressure than ever on teachers to deliver excellent PE.

Neil continues: “While spending on sports coaches, for example, does conform to the guidelines, this does not necessarily create a sustainable legacy, and schools are required to demonstrate the impact the funding has had. This is where we can help – we have a proven track record in helping schools to achieve or maintain an ‘outstanding’ grade in PE. Our bespoke CPD programmes are an approved use of the available funding, and enable teachers not only to better plan and deliver PE lessons but also to effectively explain the positive outcomes for pupils to other staff or inspectors.”

More information on Sport Works’ programmes can be found at www.sportworksltd.co.uk.

 

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