What OFSTED’s guidelines for heathy activities mean for your school.

If you ignore Ben Stokes epic innings recently against Australia and the mighty Liverpool’s 2019 UEFA Champion’s League win, then surely some of the greatest sport seen in recent times were the London 2012 Olympics. The two-week sporting event enthused the whole nation and inspired thousands of people to get more active.

OFSTED published a report in February 2013 after carrying out a full review of PE provision in schools in the four years leading up to the Olympics. Key findings were that all groups of primary age children made similar progress in PE and their achievement was good to outstanding in two thirds of schools. There was still a way to go though. Childhood obesity is on the increase and activity on the decline.

Since this report in 2013 the Chief Medical Officer and Government have published guidelines saying that our children should be active in the moderate to vigorous ways for at least an hour a day, half of this at school. They should also take part in two separate one hour PE lessons that are of a high quality, delivered by teachers who have an excellent subject knowledge. Luckily, the London 2012 legacy also meant that investment in sport across the country increased. We now have an annual award of around £16,000 per school to spend on improving health, fitness and the quality of PE – Sport Premium money. More money has also been promised at a national level to tackle the child activity and obesity worries. Some of this will trickle down to schools in the form of local sports partnerships and school games organisers.

So, we have the challenge and we have some extra funding to support this – happy days!

The sports premium funding must however be spent in accordance with Government guidelines and spending must be reported on publicly. OFSTED will look at the spending as part of their inspections. Schools that are not inspected will not have the action plan or spending formally checked as a matter of course but, sample schools are being reviewed and the spend checked and reported on. Guidance issued along with the funding says it must be spent on making

‘additional unsustainable improvements to the quality of physical education PE, physical activity and sport you offer.’

PE and Sport Premium for Primary Schools September 2014

The PE provision already offered by your school can be added to and the capacity and capability in the school developed. So, you can spend money on developing the knowledge and skills of your staff through CPD sessions and you can also employed high-quality sports coaches to provide additional lessons and clubs. These cannot be PE lessons to cover your teachers PPA time, the Government are very specific about this. Equipment can be bought to develop the breadth of sporting activities offered and facilities enhanced – an Active Playground is an ideal way of spending some of the money. The money cannot be spent on Capital Gains Projects though – so no trim trail.

The new OFSTED framework and handbook for September 2019 emphasises the importance of a broad and balanced curriculum and the role of schools in preparing children for the future. They will be looking at the provision of physical activity through the school day, not just the two hours PE lessons which are easy to timetable and deliver. Sport Premium reports will be examined and they will also look at your Healthy School rating and report if you have one. Importance of regular activity and education surrounding Healthy Eating is becoming more of a focus in the face of a growing childhood obesity epidemic. OFSTED are looking for ways you are making a difference and being creative with the resources provided for you.

Be creative with the spending and you can gain a lot across the whole school, not just in PE.


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