It is the responsibility of primary schools to teach the swimming.  The swimming attainment target states all pupils should swim confidently, competently, and proficiently over 25 metres.  There is no longer ring-fenced money for this aspect of the PE curriculum. Therefore, head teachers must fund swimming lessons from their central school budget.

National Curriculum Requirements for swimming

The guidance in the national curriculum in relation to swimming are clear and can be seen below.   Swimming and water safety – All schools must provide swimming instruction in key stage 1 or key stage 2.

In particular, pupils should be taught to:

The attainment targets should be measured and recorded by the time pupils leave in year 6.

How can your PE and Sport Premium Funding be used for swimming?

The Primary PE and Sport premium is not to be used to deliver core national curriculum requirements.  Consequently, you cannot pay for swimming lessons for your pupils.  As part of their swimming provision schools will now need to measure how many pupils can swim 25 metres and safely self-rescue.  Children that do not reach these requirements, can, however, be targetted using funding to pay for instance, additional swimming lessons or teachers professional development.

Swimming primary school curriculum – Recording and reporting data

Schools are now required to record and report on their website the figures relating to pupil progress in swimming.  You can use afPE’s website reporting tool to do this. The form covers all aspects of evidencing your use of the PE and sport premium, including your percentages of pupils swimming.

If your school needs planning to support the delivery of swimming take a look at what we do at The PE Hub.   Our swimming lesson plans and schemes of work offer support from beginners to advanced.  Also, you can also find a considerable amount of useful swimming information on the Swim England website.

Enter your details to receive information on how we work with schools & organisations like yours. Or if you have a question, either contact us or fill out the form below. 

Ofsted inspections largely bypass PE, even since the introduction of the PE and Sport Premium funding.  Therefore, schools are not having in-depth observation and evaluation of their PE provision.  For that reason, self-evaluation is more important than ever.

Understanding what makes PE good

The lack of input from such bodies has led to the corrosion of PE as a foundation subject and with it a professional understanding of what good and outstanding PE is.  I was recently in a school which self-judged it’s PE as good, yet they only had 1 hour of curriculum PE which was delivered by external sports coaches.

Would such a judgement be made if literacy was not being taught for the recommended amount of time by an unqualified person, week in, week out?

Self-evaluation in PE

With the record levels of funding through the PE and school sport premium, it is essential that schools carry out self-evaluation of their current provision.  Below are the 5 key areas any inspection will focus on:

1) How effectively do leaders use the Primary PE and Sport Premium and measure its impact on outcomes for pupils, and how effectively do governors hold them to account for this?

2) Do governors ensure that the school’s finances are properly managed and can evaluate how the school is using the Primary PE and Sport Premium?

3) As part of the outstanding criteria do governors systemically challenge senior leaders so that there is effective deployment of staff and resources to secure excellent outcomes for pupils?

4) Do governors challenge leaders about variations in outcomes for pupil groups and between disadvantaged and other pupils nationally?

5) Where external specialist coaches are being used in curriculum time, are they working alongside class teachers to improve their skills and securing long-term impact?

Self-evaluation through the Quality Mark

The AfPE Quality Mark is a great evaluation tool for schools.  The application process will help your school carry out a thorough self-review. To be sure your PE is good or outstanding it is important that you are asking the right questions.  If your school receives Quality Mark you can be sure that your PE provision is good.

The Quality Mark will also raise the profile of PE in school, helping raise standards across the school.

In our next blog we will look at evidence that supports whole school improvement by placing PE at the centre.
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It is an exciting time in PE and School Sport.  The world is waking up to the wide impact that being physically active can have on children’s lives, as a result, the primary PE and School sport premium has increased significantly.

Funding levels

We mentioned in our last blog that the latest and largest amount of funding so far is landing in schools this month.  Schools with more than 16 pupils will get £16,000 plus £10 per additional pupil.  This means a typical primary school with a two-form intake will get in the region of £19,000.

When will it arrive?

Local authority schools will receive 7/12 of the funding allocation on 31st October 2017 and 5/12 on 30th April 2018. Academies will receive the same payment proportions on 1st November 2017 and 1st May 2018.  If your school falls outside of these types, you can find out more information on the DfE website.

What’s new?

Establishments should now publish how many pupils in year 6 are meeting the national curriculum requirement for swimming. Pupils should swim ‘competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 meters’.

AfPE, along with YST has developed a great resource to help your school record and report on all aspects of the premium; there is even an exemplar which we have helpfully linked to here!  All reports must be published on your school’s website by April 2018.

Below are some useful points to consider concerning the PE and School Sport premium.  AfPE are keen to dispel some common myths!

  1. The correct title of the funding is The Primary PE and Sport Premium.
  2. A school must publish on their website how they have spent or are planning to spend the money using the DfE commissioned website template.
  3. National Curriculum Swimming and Water Safety attainment must be evidenced.
  4.  Provision should be reviewed, looking at the curriculum first and then at extracurricular sport and activity.
  5. Impact of the investment on pupils must be clearly articulated.
  6. Schools should also consider how they might sustain any activity or initiative if the funding ceased.

If your school needs planning to support the delivery of the National Curriculum take a look at what we do at The PE Hub.   Our lesson plans and schemes of work offer support across a wide range of PE activities and include resources such as videos and assessment tools.

Enter your details to receive information on how we work with schools & organisations like yours. Or if you have a question, either contact us or fill out the form below. 

On 28 February, the DfE announced a new initiative called the Healthy Pupils Capital Programme. Money is to be handed to Local Authorities and larger Academy Trusts for one off capital build projects.  It will be the job of these bodies to distribute funding to support improving facilities in schools across England.

Funding for schools ‘doubled’

Many of us have been waiting on further details of how the ‘sugar tax’ or Soft Drinks Industry Levy will be distributed.  Over a year ago we were told by the government that this tax would double the amount of money schools currently receive for their PE and sport premium.  Currently, 100% of the premium goes direct to schools to use for staff CPD and to increase out of school hours clubs.

I’ve talked to several PE professionals over the past few days and there is confusion about how this ‘new’ funding will be shared.  The DfE’s announcement doesn’t clearly lay out what schools will receive going forward, and refers to ‘more details published this year’.

Handing control back to head teachers

Head teachers know what is best for their school, so handing back control on use of funds in recent years has been a positive.  Individual academies and smaller trusts can bid for funding. I can’t help but think giving huge sums of money to local authorities and even academy trusts is a step backwards.

Healthy Pupils capital – Funding guarantee

Education Secretary, Justin Greening says the £415 million set aside to secure children’s health is guaranteed, even if the sugar levy fails to generate the income predicted.  It is hoped this money can help extend the school day to increase pupils’ opportunities to participate in activity.  It also aims to support mental health needs of children as well as the physical.

If you would like to read more on this subject head over to the DfE’s page.

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With weather improving we turn our attention to the outdoors and activity during the school day. Pressure on schools to deliver all areas of the National Curriculum is increasing and PE time is squeezed; although not a substitute for PE, walking can be a great way to increase physical activity for your pupils! May is National Walking Month and we are going to explore different ways to incorporate walking into your daily routines.

Living Streets

Living Streets are a charity that promote everyday walking in order to not only increase the amount of people walking but also to reduce the amount of traffic on our roads. Many of us are guilty of jumping in the car to school which can lead to congestion at the school gates.  Living Streets are running ‘Walk to school week’ from 16-20 May find out how your school can get involved today!

The Daily Mile

“The aim of the Daily Mile is to improve the physical, mental, emotional and social health and wellbeing of our children – regardless of age or personal circumstances.” The Daily Mile is an innovative way of encouraging children to undertake more physical activity.  It is very easy for primary schools to set up as The Daily Mile have resources ready for schools to use. Children complete the mile in their uniforms and it takes only about 15 minutes!

The British Heart Foundation

BHF is a charity which aim to keep our hearts healthy through research into heart disease but also rehabilitation and prevention of disease through healthy eating and physical activity.  BHF have some great training programmes to support you on your way to walking further and possibly taking part in some of their walking challenges!

Do you have any innovative ways to include more walking in your day?  If so we would love to hear them and share in future blogs! Send us your ideas to

Since 1998, schools have been required to produce School Development Plans (SDPs) for each academic year. SDPs help administrators and staff focus on the aspects of their school which need the most improvement.  They give everyone in the school community the opportunity to:

An SPD sets timescales for implementation and determines how to effectively use both human and material resources. Furthermore, how these resources should be used to support specific goals. A useful SPD also helps schools plan and prioritise budget and organise professional development.

Why include PE in your SPD?

PE is often left out of SDPs; this might be due to the perception that PE is incidental to the academic mission of the school—if we can fit it in alongside literacy and numeracy, that’s nice!

However, research shows that there’s a direct relationship between levels of engagement with PE and sport and levels of academic achievement. One of the most significant of these is a 2013 study by The University of Strathclyde that was published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine that found a long-term positive effect on academic achievement associated with physical activity.

Reasons to include PE in your SDP

  1. Emphasises importance to teachers: If teachers don’t know how important PE is, they are more likely to push it to the side for other priorities. Including PE as part of your SDP shares the vision for PE’s development across the school, so all teachers understand its importance and are more likely to do it well. For instance, they’ll ensure they actually teach PE in their PE slot and request support where necessary.
  2. Increases accountability for SPF usage: Putting PE in your SDP ensures that there is constant evaluation and improvement on how sports premium funding is used. This is especially true when it comes to money spent on upskilling staff.
  3. Supports goals of the whole school: Schools that invest in PE and sport invest in their whole school—for example, they see improved attendance due to before- and after-school clubs. By properly implementing their sports premium for staff training and curriculum development, they also raise the standard of teaching across the entire school.

How to encourage the inclusion of PE in your plan

The first step is to involve your PE coordinator and any sports partnership leaders your school is involved with. They will help you identify opportunities to improve not just in the school hall or on your fields, but outside your school gates. Including PE in your SDP has a direct impact on pupil engagement and achievement. Make it a priority for your next SDP.

We Can Help

Setting PE as a priority in your SDP doesn’t have to be daunting: choose lesson planning resources and CPD that support your staff from the very start. Find out more about our lesson plan subscription packages, which are developed to National Curriculum standards today!

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