What is the PE and Sports Premium?

The Department of Education introduced the PE and Sports Premium to primary schools in 2013. This funding initiative by the UK government aims to improve the quality and provision of physical education and sport. Funding is provided to schools to help them to increase the participation of children in sports activities, promote a healthier lifestyle and develop their sporting skills. 

Since its introduction, 9 in 10 schools have reported that the confidence, knowledge and skills of staff teaching PE has increased. The quality of teaching in PE lessons has also increased. Over 9 in 10 reported a broader range of PE and sport being offered to pupils. 8 in 10 reported the proportion of pupils doing 30 minutes of exercise a day in school had increased. 

Credit: Premium PE and Sport Premium Survey

A primary objective of the Premium is to encourage more pupils to participate in sports activities and promote healthier lifestyles. Schools can use the funding to provide after-school sports clubs. Clubs can be free or at a reduced cost for pupils. These clubs can include a range of sports and activities, from football and basketball to dance and gymnastics. By providing these clubs, schools can help to improve the physical health and fitness of pupils.

What are the benefits?

Studies have shown that physical activity can improve mental health. Exercise can increase your mood, helping you to sleep better and gives you more energy. With physical activity reducing, mental health concerns increase and educational gaps widen. It is now more important than ever to prioritise physical education, school sport and physical activity in schools. 

What role do primary schools play?

Primary schools have a central role to play in supporting children to live healthy and active lives. They should be able to establish the foundations of positive and enjoyable participation in physical activity. Pupils should have access to at least 30 minutes of high-quality physical activity, PE provision and opportunities during the school day. This allows children to experience and participate in a wide range of sports and physical activities.


The primary PE and sport premium funding will continue for academic years 2023-24 and 2024-25. The total being £600 million of funding across the two years. The funding is allocated to schools based on the number of pupils and is usually provided in two instalments. 

It’s important to instil good behaviours in lessons and to be active throughout the day. This ensures that the premium is spent in an effective and impactful way to ensure the sustainability of the investment. It is of prime importance that the existing staff are confident, knowledgeable and competent to deliver high quality PE and physical activity opportunities. 

Schools can use the PE and Sports Premium in different ways to enhance the quality of PE and sport provision. The funding can be used to train teachers and staff in delivering high-quality PE lessons, to introduce new sports and activities, and to increase the number of sports clubs and teams available to pupils. They can also bring in external providers to support and assist with PE lessons. These external parties can assist staff with training and enhance extra-curricular activities.

Key areas to use your PE and Sport Premium

1. Whole school improvement

Embedding successful physically active learning approaches into the school curriculum can help to drive improvement in concentration, memory retention and behaviour for the whole school. Look at the whole school improvement plan and identify areas where Sport and PE can positively impact on targeted pupils. Outcomes such as attendance, behaviour and academic attainment can also be impacted. 

2. Increasing the knowledge, confidence and skills of all staff in teaching PE and Sport

Staff should be provided with professional development, mentoring and appropriate training to help them to teach PE and sport more effectively to all children and embed physical activity across the whole school. hire qualified sports coaches and PE specialists that can work alongside teachers to enhance and extend the current opportunities offered to children. CPD opportunities can be found for staff to be upskilled in PE delivery. 

3. The engagement of all children in physical activity

Children should be provided with targeted activities to involve and encourage everyone. Active play is to be encouraged during break and lunch times and the variety of sports offered, broadened. Schools should embed physical activity into the school day by encouraging active travel to and from school. Active lessons and teaching can also be encouraged.

The funding can help to support and develop pupils with disabilities or special educational needs. Schools can use the funding to provide specialist training for staff, purchase specialist equipment and make adaptations to facilities to make them more accessible for pupils with disabilities.

4. Increased participation in competitive sport

In the summer terms, schools usually see a wide range of intra and competitive sport opportunities such as sports days. It is important to organise, coordinate and enter sports competitions and tournaments within the school or across the local area. This can help to build the social and emotional wellbeing of young people through providing opportunities, challenges, connectedness and friendship, which can give young people a sense of belonging whilst having fun

5. Broaden the range of sports and physical activities offered to all pupils

Schools should provide more variety in the extra-curricular activities that they offer. This can be achieved by introducing a new range of sports and physical activities such as dance and yoga. Set up sports clubs and partner with other schools to help with this, along with hiring external parties to come in and run these. 

Many children, especially those from deprived areas, never get the chance to learn to swim. Shocking new research reveals that one in three children leave primary school unable to swim, despite swimming and water safety being on the national curriculum. Covid-19 has had a significant impact on leisure centres and schools with large numbers of children missing out on school swimming. All pupils should be able to swim competently over a distance of at least 25 metres, use a range of strokes effectively and perform a safe self-rescue in different water-based situations. All primary school children should leave school being able to swim. 

Credit: ASA Reveals 1 in 3 Children can’t swim when leaving primary school


In conclusion, the Sports Premium funding is an important initiative that plays a vital role in helping to promote physical health and well-being among young people and ensuring that they have access to high-quality PE and sport provision.

Spend funding across all areas to develop the PE curriculum, diversifying enrichment and competition offer and connecting PE, sport and physical activity with other curriculum areas.

Each school oversees how they spend the funding and must publish the details of this by the end of the summer term. If a school fails to comply with the conditions of the grant, the secretary of state may require the repayment of the whole or any part of the premium paid to them.