New standards for equal access to sports, making it clear that girls and boys should be offered the same sports during PE and extracurricular time in schools has just been announced. 

 The Government revealed the changes on March 8 - International Women’s Day. 

 This investment in Cornwall equates to an annual budget of close to £5 million.

 The news today has been well received by Active Cornwall - a not-for-profit organisation and the leading advocate in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly for the power of physical activity. 

 Active Cornwall’s Tim Marrion said: “We are delighted with the news today, and the investment confirmed to tackle those stubborn inequalities children and young people face to sport and physical activity. 

 “The continuation and increased accountability of both the PE and Sport Premium and the School Games will go a long way to achieving this and we look forward to working with both our local schools and our School Games Organisers in those areas that need the support the most to ensure all children in Cornwall live a fun, happy and healthy life.”

 Key elements of the new standards include: 

1.       Equal access to sports in school – setting out that offering girls and boys the same sports, where it is wanted is the new standard.

2.       Delivering a minimum 2 hours of curriculum PE –with more support being offered through a refreshed School Sport Action Plan

3.       Expansion of the Schools Games Mark - to reward parity of provision for girls - this kitemark scheme, delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, recognises schools that create positive sporting experiences across all sports for young people, supporting them to be active for 60 minutes a day.

4.       Over £600 million across the next two years for the PE and Sport Premium – a funding commitment to improve the quality of PE and sports in primary schools to help children benefit from regular activity.

5.       A new digital tool for PE and Sport Premium – to support schools in using the funding to the best advantage of their pupils.

6.       £22 million for two years of further funding for the School Games Organiser network (SGO) - Annually the 450-strong SGO workforce supports 2.2m participation opportunities for children including 28,000 competitive school sport events.

7.       Up to £57 million funding for the open sports facilities programme - to open up more school sports facilities outside of school hours especially targeted at girls, disadvantaged pupils, and pupils with special educational needs.    

 The package will help to boost equal opportunities in school sports both inside and outside the classroom, delivering on promises made by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Education Secretary Gillian Keegan to the Women’s Euro 22 winners the Lionesses.

 This follows from the success of the FA’s #LetGirlsPlay campaign which is working to change perceptions and make sure girls get the chance to play football within the school curriculum, as well as during breaktime, after school, and at local clubs. 

 The campaign was launched by the Lionesses squad and the FA after the England Women’s team’s success at the Euro 22 tournament last year.

 Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Last year the Lionesses’ victory changed the game. Young girls know when they take to the pitch that football is for them and, thanks to the Lionesses, they too could be a part of the next generation to bring it home for their country.  

 “We want schools to build on this legacy and give every girl the opportunity to do the same sports as boys, as well as provide a minimum of two hours of PE. This means every child can benefit from regular exercise and we are proud to provide them with the support needed to do so.” 

 Schools that successfully deliver equal opportunities for girls and boys will be rewarded through the School Games Mark, which will assess the parity of provision in PE and extracurricular sports. Schools are also being asked to offer a minimum of two hours of curriculum PE time and Government will provide support to schools on how to do this through the upcoming refresh of the School Sport Action Plan.

 Alongside this work, Ofsted will be publishing a report into PE in the coming months, which will inform future inspections and set out what they believe is possible in terms of offering high-quality PE and equal access to sports.

 This is backed by a package of cross-government funding to help boost sport and activities both inside and outside school hours including the confirmation of over £600 million in funding over the next two academic years for the PE and Sport Premium and £22 million for the School Games Organisers (SGO) network and £57 million to open up school facilities.

 Being active in childhood is vital to long-term well-being and physical and mental health. This major investment will help more children to keep fit, have a healthy start to life, and will help save the NHS money in the years ahead. 

Up to £57 million in funding will be used to allow selected schools around England to keep their sports facilities open for longer for after-school activities, especially targeted at girls, disadvantaged children, and those with special educational needs.

 The PE and Sport Premium is designed to help children get an active start in life by improving the quality of PE and sports in primary schools. Headteachers can choose how best to spend this funding including on teacher training, offering more opportunities for pupils to take part in competitions, and widening the range of sports for both boys and girls including football, tennis, cricket, and hockey. 

 Schools will receive updated guidance this summer setting out how to use the funding to the best advantage of their pupils. A new digital tool will be introduced for schools to report on their spending on the PE and Sport Premium and allow the Government to understand where further guidance is needed.

 The Government is also providing security for the School Games Organisers (SGO) network, with the commitment of funding until the end of the summer term of 2025. The 450-strong SGO workforce offers over two million opportunities to participate in competitive sports. 

 The programme delivers on the Government’s ambition to ensure that all children and young people, no matter their background, can be active.