Delamere Church of England Academy has been praised for its use of specialist sport funding in the same week that the Department for Education (DFE) has announced £23million of new funding for North West schools.
Headteachers have already used the PE and Sports Premium - a fund worth more than £150million a year - to recruit hundreds of extra specialist PE teachers, buy new equipment and offer a wider selection of sports and free after-school clubs.
Research has shown that nine out of 10 schools have already improved the quality of their PE lessons as a result of the funding – and more than 90 per cent reported improvements in children’s health, behaviour and lifestyle.
Delamere has used the funding to appoint a specialist PE teacher so that every pupil has two hours of high-quality PE classes each week.
The school holds daily ‘wake and shake’ classes and there is an extensive after-school PE programme – including classes in yoga, boxercise and ju jit su.
Headteacher Steve Docking said: “We have always invested heavily in PE at all levels to encourage all children to have a healthy attitude towards sport and competition.
“The additional funding ensured that we were able to employ a full-time sports specialist fully qualified teacher who has taken sport at our school to the next level.”
A typical primary school with 250 pupils will receive £9,000 following today’s announcement – which is equivalent to the cost of employing a specialist sports coach for two days each week.
The latest PE and Sports premium allocation is the second of three annual payments worth a total of over £450million which this government is committed to giving to schools.
The funding, introduced in 2013, goes directly to primary school head teachers so that they can decide how best to use it to provide PE and sporting activities for pupils.
Sue Wilkinson, from the a0ssociation for PE, said: “We are extremely pleased that headteachers are using their funding to increase the amount of time spent on curriculum physical education, and improving learning opportunities for teachers so they can deliver the very best quality lessons.
“Since the initial investment, evidence demonstrates a transformational shift with physical education and sport driving whole school improvement and making a significant contribution to young peoples’ health and well-being.
“We hope that with the continued investment schools will continue to create a sustainable legacy for PE and sport.”