Schools are set to receive a £1.6m funding boost that will help them provide more sports activities to pupils after school and during the holidays.
The education secretary Gavin Williamson has announced a total funding package worth £2.4m for better sports activities and teaching.
Over half of this funding will go towards the Active Partnership Network, supported by Sport England, which will set up partnerships between schools and local sport providers.
These partnerships will give children more after-school and holiday opportunities to exercise.
‘Getting children active from a young age helps them build confidence and learn skills they will use in later life,’ said Mr Williamson.
‘Many schools already open up their facilities so their communities can benefit and I want to encourage even more to do so.
‘By backing schools with this extra money we can make more fun activities available all year round – everything from football to dodgeball – to help children find a sport that they will enjoy and which will keep them healthy.’
Lee Mason, chief executive of Active Partnerships commented: ‘This funding is a great opportunity to better understand how we can support all types of secondary schools to open up their facilities during evenings, weekends and holiday periods for the benefit of their school children and local communities.
‘Schools are trusted sites within local communities and are the ideal place for people of all ages to be more active.
‘By the end of this project, we will know more about the barriers schools face when trying to open their facilities for community use and how to support schools to overcome these challenges.
‘We will also identify and celebrate schools who are placing their facilities at the heart of their community and the impact that this is having on both school and community life.’
Nine teaching schools known for their expertise in sport in different parts of the country will also share a £500,000 grant to trial new ways to engage the least active pupils and help to develop the skills and confidence of PE teachers.
The Department for Education will also award a grant worth £20,000 for Birmingham to increase the number of youth volunteers in the community.