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  • 18 February 2014 00:00
  • in Education
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Huge Government investment in school sport must not be wasted warns afPE Strategic Lead

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Sue Wilkinson, the Strategic Lead at The Association for Physical Education (afPE), has warned that the Government’s recent £750 million investment in the primary school sector must not be wasted by those spending the funding.

Prime Minister David Cameron announced the huge funding boost this month which means that the £150 million-a year-funding for the Primary PE and Sport Premium will now run for an additional five years through to 2020.

The funding boost is designed to help secure a tangible legacy from the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics but Wilkinson warns that if the money isn’t spent correctly in up skilling the primary workforce, the Government’s investment will leave no legacy for the physical education and school sport.

"We are delighted at the Government’s commitment and investment in physical education and school sport,” Wilkinson told Community Sport Network.

"They should be congratulated on ensuring there is a huge financial resource in place.

"Our message is
unchanged, in that we feel that we need to use this money to ensure a sustainable legacy through high quality teaching and learning, with a commitment to up skilling the primary workforce.

"The message we are trying to get over is: "If this money suddenly stopped, have you created a sustainable legacy
, what difference will you have made?”

"If you buy in somebody to deliver physical education instead of your teachers; that will stop as soon as the money stops.

"But if you bring in somebody to train up your teachers then when the money stops, the teachers will still be
skilled and will be able to continue the good work. Where the money is being used well, it relates to the old proverb teach them to fish rather than give them a fish, in order to leave a sustainable legacy.

"We
strongly advise Head Teachers to complete an audit of need to see where the focus for funding and investment  needs to be, then spend it on the needs and then look at the impact it is having.

"This is a huge investment and we need to see a long-term impact and so do the Government.

 

"Under the previous Government, we had 10 years of funding and at the end of that, a major ofsted report said that one in three primary schools and one in four secondary schools required improvement with regard to physical education.

"You have to ask what happened when all that funding was put in place.

"So the commitment from this Coalition Government to reinvest is very credible.

"But they expect to see evidence that this money is making a difference.

"If we don’t get this right, I doubt we will ever get any funding again.

"So it is crucial that we all try and make a difference.

"We need to see healthier children, children performing to a higher level across the curriculum and the best skilled workforce in the world in place, to deliver physical education, sport and physical activity on our schools.

"That would be a fantastic legacy. 


To read the full interview with Sue Wilkinson, Click Here
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