Investigation: Schools accused of fudging sport premium funding

The government has been urged to plug the holes in its sport premium cash scheme, with teachers claiming schools are fudging their funding. Schools Week reports.

The call comes as the education secretary Damian Hinds announced a new “school sport action plan” to get more pupils to play competitive sport.

But school sport experts have called on the government to instead concentrate on implementing its current strategies to boost school sport and tackle childhood obesity.

Teachers claim PE and sport premium funding – introduced in 2013 as part of the London 2012 Olympic legacy – is being misused. This year the government doubled the amount it gives to primary schools each year to £320 million, with schools receiving up to £27,510 each.

Schools must use the ring-fenced cash to make “additional and sustainable” improvements to the quality of PE and sport.

School leaders are expected to publish details online of how the money is spent. Ofsted will check this during inspections.

One teacher told Active Matters: “My last headteacher went for copying and pasting last summer term’s report from an older year. Totally gobsmacked by her brazenness. However HMI didn’t spot it.”

An analysis of 86 primary schools in the London borough of Croydon, seen by Schools Week, found a quarter had no evidence online for how the funding was spent last year. Four in five of the schools (79 per cent) had yet to provide the completed statutory performance report.

An Ofsted spokesperson said it took the misuse of premium funding “seriously”. “If we find that funding is not being used for the right purposes we will make this clear in the school’s report and take it into account in coming to a judgment.”

Read more Investigation: Schools accused of fudging sport premium funding

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