Primary Schools

Is Your School Ready for OFSTED’s PE & Sport Premium Questions?

By July 31st 2019, primary schools are expected to have published reports on the application and impact of physical education provisions. It's a condition of receiving the PE and Sport Premium, a ringfenced grant from the government.

After receiving funding, schools are expected to document their progress. They must keep a record of purchases, observe their impact and detail plans for the continuous improvement of sports and physical activity. Click to download a PE and Sport Premium policy guide.

You'll know this if you've received PE and Sport Premium before. If you are eligible for funding, payments have started. So, you may have made some big investments already. But are you prepared to evidence?

In this blog, we'll talk you through the questions OFSTED wants your school to answer:

What specific outcomes does your school aim to achieve with PE and Sport Premium Funding?

The best place to start evidencing is with goals for the future. In some cases, desired outcomes aren't immediately obvious. You may need to investigate the efficacy of current PE provisions before deciding where to go next.

Where possible, start with what you aim to improve and work backwards. It might be increasing sports participation, providing more varied PE games, making physical education inclusive or improving pupils' motor skills and movement abilities.

By the time OFSTED turn up, you should know exactly what you're working to change with the PE and Sport Premium. 

Has there been an impact on whole school improvement as a result of PE and Sport Premium Funding?

Schools are expected to spend carefully and base purchases on gaps in existing provisions or areas of potential improvement. So, OFSTED anticipates evidence of positive progress. However, schools aren't automatically penalised for decisions that don't have the intended results.

If this the case, you must demonstrate a proactive response to the situation. You need to record results, identify problems, apply or plan solutions and provide evidence of all these steps.

What you can't do is say: We spent it this way. It didn't work. End of story.

How has PE and Sport Premium Funding impacted on attainment in national curriculum physical education?

The PE national curriculum lists specific milestones primary pupils are expected to reach. Click to download the government's PE policy document for Key Stage 1 and 2. Don't forget, swimming milestones were added in October 2018. 

Keep these milestones in mind during OFSTED inspections and when writing July spending reports. It's important to continually return to how and why the Sport Premium is helping pupils progress as the government requires.

How are you using PE and Sport Premium Funding to enhance existing provisions?

The requirements for funding include the improvement of existing sports and physical education provisions. Schools can use the cash to sustain what is already offered, but they MUST also expand on it.

OFSTED wants to see evidence of new activities, opportunities, equipment and even new teaching strategies.

Your school should, at its earliest chance, identify the areas it wants to expand or redevelop. The sooner you know, the sooner you can start monitoring the impact of investments and collecting evidence of their efficacy. 

If external coaches or specialists are being used, are they working alongside teachers to improve their skills?

The government permits schools to spend money on specialist coaches and third party health providers like Amaven. However, they MUST NOT be employed as substitutes for internal teaching. You cannot fill gaps in staffing, knowledge or equipment with those of outside agencies.

Again, it's okay for schools to have weaknesses; the PE and Sport Premium is designed to address them. But there's a difference between using specialists to plug gaps in provisions and using them to upskill teachers. The latter is what OFSTED wants to see.