Originally published Aug. 8, 2020 in the Northumberland Gazette.
By Dominic Scurr
Schools in Northumberland will benefit from part of the £320m funding for the 2020/21 academic year, whilst also carrying over any 2019/20 funding that has gone unused as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Schools are encouraged to access the funding to improve the physical education curriculum and give their pupils the best start.
Councillor Wayne Daley, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Children’s Services said: “It’s great news that this funding is continuing for schools.
“PE and sports activities will be vital in the new school year, with so many children having missed these opportunities due to the pandemic. Exercise is a key player in our health and wellbeing, and the social interaction this can also bring can be a huge benefit to one's mental health.”
Hareside Primary School in Cramlington has been successfully utilising the funding to improve physical activity for its pupils.
Headteacher, Jacqueline Mowat said: “This funding has been vital in our commitment to improving the quality of PE, physical activity and sport provision in our school.
"We have seen the funding impact not only the physical health and mental wellbeing of our pupils but also, recently, the positive impact on their academic performance too.
"We are delighted this funding is to continue, enabling us to support our children fully upon their return to school in September.”
The PE and Sport Premium is a ring-fenced grant for primary schools in England to provide additional and sustainable improvements to the quality of PE, sport and physical activity.
Allocations to schools are determined by a formula based on pupil numbers, with the average one form entry primary school receiving roughly £18,000 per year.
Cath McEvoy-Carr, Executive Director of Adult and Children’s services said: “We urge our schools to make best use of this funding.
"We are seeing the benefit of exercise more than ever before, and if our schools can use this funding to improve on their physical education offer now, they will be benefiting the lives of our youngest residents for years to come.”