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School Sports and Activity Action Plan- March 2024, updated guidance for Primary School physical education.

The government have introduced new guidance for enhancing physical education in schools through the creation of the ‘Schools Sports and Activity Action Plan’ (SSAAP). The action plan designed to improve the accessability and quality of sport and physical activity in schools by focusing on 2 core objectives

  • Providing 2 hours of high-quality PE per week
  • Enhancing the equality of access to PE and extracurricular sports and activities

Currently, 53% of children do not meet the Chief Medical Officer’s physical activity guideline of children aiming for 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Therefore, the goal of SSAAP is to encourage schools to take more responsibility in improving access to physical activity so pupils can meet these recommendations. In addition to physical health benefits, encouraging pupils to participate in more physical activity and sport can enhance overall wellbeing, promote healthier mental health and create a supportive environment for pupils to alleviate from academic pressure.

How can primary schools improve sports provisions?

The information below provides more insight into the government’s suggestions.

Nurture a positive atmosphere about sports
Creating a positive atmosphere around sports is crucial in dismantling barriers and resistance to participate in physical activity. It is essential to prioritise equitable access to sport for all pupils, including girls, children from low socio-economic backgrounds and children with disabilities. Establishing a safe and supportive environment is key to ensuring the participation of all pupils.

Establishing a clear direction for PE
Evaluate your current PE programme to ensure it aligns with the PE curriculum and has clarity and purpose. Designating leaders for PE who effectively communicate the goals of physical education to pupils, other teachers and parents will help achieve this clarity. Sharing successes in school newsletters or taking part in local competitions will help elevate the culture of sport throughout the school.

Investing in staff CPD
The training and development of existing staff to improve knowledge and confidence in delivering high-quality PE and sport activities is critical in achieving the goals of the SSAAP. CPD in physical education is not only vital for PE staff but also for all members of the school community to understand and embed the importance of physical activity into the school culture. While supporting CPD for staff can be costly, funding options such as pupil premium or PE and Sports Premium are available for this purpose.

Diversify the offer of sports activities
In addition to the standard curriculum, it is beneficial to offer a broad range of formal and informal activities for pupils. While increasing the number of sports clubs and competitions is valuable, it is also essential to prioritize informal activities. Providing more sport clubs and competitions is great, however, focusing on informal activities is also important. Laying out activities for children to intuitively take part in can provide self-fulfilment and encourage more physical activity than conforming to set activities. This can include setting up equipment during break times, such as hula-hoops and skipping ropes, that encourage communication, teamwork, and decision-making.

How can primary schools align with government’s expectations?

The updated guidance on improving the quality and quantity of PE and sports in schools highlight the need for increased investment- investing in staff CPD, providing more equipment, and increasing the number of extracurricular clubs for pupils.

Engaging with external partners offers a streamlined approach for integrating these guidelines and enhancing your school’s sports offerings, while saving you money in the long-term.

By partnering with LSC, for instance, your school can elevate its physical education programmes through our team of specialised PE practitioners who develop comprehensive lesson plans that align with both the curriculum and your school’s objectives. The expertise and knowledge of our staff ensures PE provision is continuously delivered to a high standard. Outsourcing your school’s PE is the secret to enhancing your school’s provisions without out any sacrifices.