This policy sits alongside the government’s commitment to “take action to reduce childhood obesity“. That commitment exists partly because official figures indicate that “60% more children in their last year of primary school are classified as “severely obese” than in their first year”. In 2017, a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) showed the UK to be the most obese country in western Europe, a status that brings with it great social and economic costs, as explained in the government’s childhood obesity plan.
By doubling the support for sports in primary schools the government hopes to promote fitness and healthier lifestyles, and since the election it has delivered on this funding promise.
Primary schools receive a Physical Education (PE) and sport premium based on the number of pupils in years 1-6. In 2016-2017 schools with 17 or more students received £8000 as well as £5 per pupil. Meanwhile, schools with 16 or fewer eligible students received £500 per pupil.
However, this changed for the academic year 2017-2018, and the changes have been maintained into 2018-2019. The funding doubled, with schools with 17 or more pupils receiving £16,000 as well as £10 per pupil. And schools with 16 or fewer eligible students now receive £1000 per pupil.
Based on the changes to the level of PE and sport premium funding, we can safely give this policy promise a verdict of ‘done’.