School sport handed £150m funding boost

The government has announced new funding for school sport and PE worth £150m a year for the next two years.

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As revealed by the BBC on Tuesday, ring-fenced money will be given directly to primary schools in England.Schools will be able to pay for extra coaching sessions to improve the quality of sports and PE provision.Prime Minister David Cameron said: “We can create a culture in our schools that encourages all children to be active and enjoy sport.”He added: “The Olympic and Paralympic Games marked an incredible year for this country and I will always be proud that we showed the world what Britain can do.

“I want to ensure the Games count for the future too and that means capitalising on the inspiration young people took from what they saw during those summer months.”

The Government says the new scheme will involve:

  • Lump sums for schools – a typical primary school with 250 primary-aged pupils would receive £9,250 per year, the equivalent of around two days a week of a primary teacher or a coach’s time
  • A greater role for sporting and voluntary organisations, including sport’s National Governing Bodies (NGBs), who will increase the specialist coaching and skills development on offer for primary schools
  • Tougher assessment of sport provision by inspectorate Ofsted to ensure the funding is bringing the maximum benefit for all pupils, with schools held to account for how they spend the money
  • Sport England investing £1.5m a year of lottery funding through the County Sport partnerships to help schools link up with local sports coaches, clubs and sports governing bodies
  • More primary teachers with a particular specialism in PE via a new teacher training scheme.

The long-awaited policy is the result of months of talks in Whitehall, and comes after widespread calls for more investment in school sport to help build on the legacy potential of the 2012 Games. Despite record investment in elite and community sport in the last six months, the government has been criticised for making cuts in schools sports.

In 2010, £162m of ring-fenced funding for the national School Sport Partnerships (SSPs) was abolished, provoking an outcry. The network enabled well-equipped ‘hub’ secondary schools to lend PE teachers to those that needed them, especially primary schools.

Shadow Sports Minister Clive Efford said: “This money is extremely welcome but we would be in a much better situation had the government not taken £162m away from SSPs in 2010 and left the structures that were in place to crumble.

“David Cameron wanting praise for putting money back into school sport is like a burglar returning stolen goods and expecting to be hailed as a public hero.”

Last month a four-year long Ofsted report concluded there was not enough strenuous, physical activity in many of England’s school PE lessons, with teachers tending to lack specialist training, and a minority of schools playing competitive sport at a high level.

Andy Reed, chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, the umbrella organisation for the sport’s governing and representative bodies in the UK, said: “It’s a policy that will tick a lot of the boxes. There’s investment, there’s ring-fencing, there’s NGB involvement and there’s measurement, all of which were at the top of the list for sports bodies. There was a glaring gap in the Government’s Olympic legacy plans and this policy addresses that.

“This is an acknowledgement that PE and sport should play a central role in every pupil’s experience and that the skills they give children are as important as being able to read, write and add. It also recognises that it makes sense for schools to draw on the expertise of governing bodies as early and as deeply as practical.

“Ministers should encourage heads to embrace the wide variety of physical activity on offer to them so that every child can find something that they like.”

Lord Coe, the prime minister’s Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Ambassador, said: “When I stood up in Singapore in 2005 I spoke of London’s vision to connect young people with the inspirational power of the Games so they are inspired to choose sport.

“Today’s announcement does just that and by focusing on primary schools we have the opportunity to make sport and physical exercise a habit for life. I am particularly pleased to see the proposals around initial teacher training and continual professional development because I know from my own experience what an impact teachers and their engagement can have on the lives of young people.”

Baroness Sue Campbell, chair of the Youth Sport Trust, said: “This is a landmark day for PE and school sport and now the work really begins to make sure this impressive investment benefits all young people.

“For many years we have been championing the need for greater investment in primary school PE and school sport provision, and it is welcome news that the Government has now recognised this as a priority area.

“If this funding is to reach every young person it is important to recognise that schools will need support in how to maximise its impact. Funding will need to be used in a way that makes high quality PE and sport sustainable, and embeds both within school life. Primary schools in particular will need support to achieve this.

“Investment in teacher training at primary school level is desperately needed. For too long a child’s first experience of physical education has been delivered by teachers who lack the confidence and in some cases the competence to deliver PE well. We hope this investment will address that.”

The new support for primary school is funded by the Department for Education, Department of Health and Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, said: “We must harness the sporting spirit of 2012 for all our young people. We have listened to teachers, and to Ofsted, who have said that sport provision in our primary schools is far too often just not up to scratch.

“That is why we are putting money directly into the hands of primary head teachers to spend it on improving PE in their schools.

“By providing this money and reintroducing competitive sport back into the heart of the curriculum we can achieve an Olympic legacy in our schools we can be proud of.”

Article sourced from: www.bbc.co.uk/sport

School sport set to receive funding boost from the government

The government is preparing to make a major announcement on new funding for school sport in the next few days, the BBC has learned.School sports article

A new strategy for school sport has been debated within Whitehall for months. While the precise details remain shrouded in secrecy, I’m told the amount of money involved is “significant”.

Between £100m and £150m could be committed by the Department for Education in a bid to help primary schools improve the quality of their sports provision.

That could mean schools each receive thousands of pounds of ring-fenced funding that must be spent on sport, with the various sporting governing bodies encouraged to help provide expertise and coaches to work alongside teachers.

I understand the Football Association, England and Wales Cricket Board, Lawn Tennis Association and other organisations are being briefed on the plans on Thursday by the government. An announcement is being planned for this week, with plans overseen by No 10 Downing Street. The Premier League is also in discussions with the government over how its club community projects might be used as a delivery vehicle for the new policy.

The new funding comes after widespread calls for more investment in school sport to help build on the legacy potential of the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics.

Despite record investment in elite and community sport in the last six months, the government has also been criticised for making cuts in schools sports and failing to devise a national strategy for this level of sport.

In 2010, £162m of ring-fenced funding for the national School Sport Partnerships (SSPs) was abolished by Education Secretary Michael Gove, a decision that provoked an outcry.

The network enabled well-equipped ‘hub’ secondary schools to lend PE teachers to others that needed them, especially primary schools.

Following protests, £65m was reinstated, allowing the programme to run partially under a different guise. But that is due to cease before the start of the next academic year in September 2013.

A recommendation for two hours of PE in schools each week has also been abandoned, something which the opposition wants reversed.

Crucially, the new policy will not be a reinstatement of the SSP infrastructure, with Gove insisting that money goes directly to schools without it being spent on any additional levels of administration.

A number of projects have been established by governing bodies and professional clubs in recent years that focus on coaching teachers in PE and sport. The LTA claims to have trained 26,000 teachers as part of its Aegon Schools Programme. The Manchester United Foundation’s “Hub of the Community” scheme has seen academy coaches based permanently at eight secondary schools in the north west.

Now, eight months after the Olympics, the Prime Minister will announce that the Government’s new strategy could replicate projects like these nationally.

Last month, a four-year long Ofsted  report concluded there was not enough strenuous physical activity in many of England’s school PE lessons, with teachers tending to lack specialist training and a minority of schools playing competitive sport at a high level.

The report said PE teaching was good or outstanding in two-thirds of the primary schools it visited, an improvement on the results of its last survey in 2008, but it put much of this down to the SSP programme, saying its impact in “maximising participation and increasing competition was clearly evident in the vast majority of schools visited”.

Ofsted warned that sustaining this level of improvement would be challenging against the “backdrop of greater expectations following last summer’s London Games”, and called for a new national strategy building on the success of SSPs.

There have been repeated calls from the Sport and Recreation Alliance  and the Youth Sport Trust  for every primary school to have a specialist PE teacher.

The government says its draft PE curriculum will put competitive sport back at the heart of school life but has been accused of failing to grasp the fundamental issue of a lack of basic physical literacy at primary school level.

With the help of the prime minister’s legacy advisor and London 2012 chairman, Lord Coe, a new strategy announcement was originally intended to be made before Christmas.

However, amid reports of disagreements between the Departments of Education and Health, it was delayed.

Article sourced from: www.bbc.co.uk/sport

Is fast food having an impact on your child’s learning?

The news keeps highlighting the fact that more children are becoming obese and we in a country are in dire need to get children to exercise more in their daily life, weather it is in school hours or out. It has now come to the attention that fast foods could be a major contribute in to the lowering of children’s IQ. This gives us the best reason to make this a high priority to get children eating more healthy foods and to get them into fun activities.

Children who are given more fast food meals than children who are given more fresh fruit and vegetables and freshly cooked homemade meals, will grow up to have a much lower IQ than the children who eat more healthier according to a study. Childhood nutrition has long lasting effects on IQ, previous intelligence and wealth and social status are taken into account, it found. The study examined whether the type of main meal that children ate each day had an impact on their cognitive ability and growth.

It looked at 4,000 Scottish children aged three to five year’s old and compared fast food with freshly-cooked food meals. The study, undertaken by an academic at Goldsmiths, University of London, found that parents that gave their children meals prepared with fresh ingredients more often, which positively affected their IQ. Then those parents that gave their children fast food, which led to lower IQ. Dr Sophie von Stumm, from the department of psychology at Goldsmiths, said: ‘It’s common sense that the type of food we eat will affect brain development, but previous research has only looked at the effects of specific food groups on children’s IQ rather than at generic types of meals.

‘These children score lower on intelligence tests and often struggle in school.

‘Schools in less privileged areas must do even more to balance children’s diet, so that they can achieve their cognitive potential. ‘It shows that the freshness and quality of food matters more than just being full, in particular when children are young and developing.’

By the age of eight the ‘junk food’ children had IQs up to two points lower than their healthy counterparts, according to the researchers from the University of Adelaide.These children were tested five years later and had IQ scores that were as much as five points lower than their healthier-eating peers.

The researchers suspected that the negative effect of eating junk food so early in life may BEEF-BURGERnot be altered by future healthy habits because brain development is hindered.

Do you believe this? are we really making our children dumb?
What parents need now is good advice, ideas and tricks to help children to become better and healthier eaters.

Do you have any special tricks, ideas and thoughts please share.