The background of sports funding in the UK

In 2010, the UK government introduced a program called the School Games. The aim of this initiative was to increase the number of young people participating in sports, and to create a sustainable infrastructure for school sports. This program included an annual national competition, local competitions, and support for training and development of coaches and volunteers.

In addition to the School Games, the government also launched the Primary PE and Sport Premium in 2013. This program provided additional funding to primary schools to improve the quality and quantity of physical education (PE) and sport provision for children. The funding was based on the number of pupils in each school, and schools were required to use the money to make additional and sustainable improvements to their PE and sport programs.

The current state of sports funding for schools

Despite these initiatives, there is still concern about the level of funding provided to schools for sports programs. In 2019, a report by the Education Policy Institute found that schools with high levels of deprivation were less likely to have access to sports facilities and specialist coaches. The report also highlighted a decline in the number of pupils taking part in competitive sport.

As a result of these concerns, the UK government announced in 2020 that it would provide an additional £320 million of funding for the Primary PE and Sport Premium for the 2020-2021 academic year. This was in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on physical activity levels among children, and the need to support schools in providing sports programs that could be delivered safely.

The impact of sports funding on children

Sports funding can have a significant impact on children's physical and mental health, as well as their academic performance. Studies have shown that children who participate in regular physical activity are more likely to have better mental health, improved academic performance, and higher levels of self-esteem and confidence.

In addition to the benefits for individual children, sports programs can also have a positive impact on the wider community. Schools can use sports facilities and programs to engage with parents and the wider community, and to promote healthy living and social inclusion.

Sports funding for schools in the UK is a complex issue, with concerns about inequality and declining participation rates. However, the initiatives launched by the government in recent years have shown that investment in sports programs can have a positive impact on children's health, wellbeing, and academic performance. As we move forward, it is essential that we continue to support schools in providing high-quality sports programs that are accessible to all children, regardless of their background or circumstances.

Current sports funding available:

Primary PE and Sport Premium

This is a government-funded initiative designed to help primary schools improve the quality of their PE and sport provision. Each school receives an annual grant based on the number of pupils in the school, and the funding can be used to provide training and resources for teachers, to introduce new sports and activities, and to improve sports facilities.

Sport England Small Grants:

Sport England is a public body responsible for promoting and supporting sport and physical activity in England. They offer a small grants program for schools and community groups, which provides funding of up to £15,000 for projects that increase participation in sport and physical activity.

Youth Sport Trust

The Youth Sport Trust is a national charity that aims to improve young people's lives through physical education and sport. They offer a range of funding opportunities for schools, including grants for projects that promote active lifestyles, develop leadership skills, and improve wellbeing.

National Lottery Funding

The National Lottery provides funding for a wide range of projects, including sports initiatives. Schools can apply for funding through the National Lottery Community Fund, which offers grants of up to £10,000 for projects that promote community participation in sports and physical activity.

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