In the summer term the DFE announced that the PE and Sport Premium award would be given to schools again, this time for the 2019 – 2020 academic year. Headteachers and Governing bodies around the country heaved the sigh of relief as they had effectively been given an additional allowance of around £16,000 with which they could balance their books and deliver a high-quality provision for their children. We all know that school budgets are shrinking and demands on them are growing so it is very tempting to add this extra money straight to the pot and not spend it entirely for its original purpose.
This approach is risky for several reasons:
- Although the Sport Premium spend is not currently inspected or assessed by the Government each year it does have to be planned for and reported on. These action plans and annual reports are looked at as part of your OFSTED inspection. Recently the DfE has also been auditing Sport Premium spend of a sample of schools as well.
The DFE has the right to either recoup money that has been mis-spent or will stop future payments. Would you want to explain to your children, parents, staff, governors or even the local press what you did wrong with your budget spend?
- Parents and other stakeholders are becoming more aware of Government funding and what their children are entitled to. Would you be able to explain to them why their child must pay for an after-school football club they really can’t afford when you have been given £16,000 from the Government to cover such costs?
- If the Sport Premium money is spent correctly and well then it should be easy for you to share information about your spend – a pleasure even! You should be proud of the good things you are doing with it and the impact and legacy you are creating. If you aren’t, then it might be time to review your Action Plan and make some changes.