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£23 million boost to primary school sport

Primary schools across the north west were given a fresh £23million funding boost to transform PE lessons for tens of thousands of pupils.

Headteachers have already used the PE and Sports Premium – a fund worth more than £150million a year – to recruit hundreds of extra specialist PE teachers, buy new equipment and offer a wider selection of sports and free after school clubs.

Research has shown that nine out of 10 schools have already improved the quality of their PE lessons as a result of the funding – and more than 90 per cent reported improvements in children’s health, behaviour and lifestyle.

As a result, figures show that on average primary schools pupils are spending more time in PE lessons. Last year pupils spent an average of 122 minutes every week doing PE – up 13 minutes on the previous year.

Minister for children and families Edward Timpson said: “As part of our plan for education, we want all children to get into the habit of playing and enjoying sport in primary school as it can help instil confidence, discipline and determination.

“Whether a child is a potential future Olympic champion or a keen amateur like me – I want them all to be given the chance to fulfil their sporting potential.”

The funding, introduced in 2013, goes directly to primary school headteachers so that they can decide how best to use it to provide PE and sporting activities for pupils.

Delamere Church of England Academy in Kelsall, Cheshire, has used the PE and Sports Premium funding to appoint a specialist PE teacher so every pupil has two hours of high-quality PE classes each week.

The school holds daily ‘wake and shake’ classes and there is an exciting after school PE programme – including classes in yoga, boxercise and ju jit su – every day of the week.

Headteacher Steve Docking said: “We have always invested heavily in PE at all levels to encourage all children to have a healthy attitude towards sport and competition.

“The additional funding ensured that we were able to employ a full-time sports specialist fully qualified teacher who has taken sport at our school to the next level.”

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