Following the years children have spent indoors, being active is now more important than ever for mental and physical health of pupils. Not only this, but children who are more physically active are shown to have improved academic attainment and brain development. 


There is no better time to think about how best to use the PE and Sport Premium funding stream since it will continue in 2022, and any unspent funds will be carried over until July 2022.


What is the PE & Sport Premium?

A government-backed funding initiative, the primary PE and Sport Premium aims at improving physical education and sport in primary schools across England. This is achieved by providing schools with funding.

On 17th July 2017, the Department for Education confirmed the government’s commitment to doubling the primary PE & Sport Premium from September 2017.


How Does it Work?

  • Most schools with primary-age pupils receive the PE and Sport Premium.
  • Funding is based on the number of pupils in years 1 to 6. In cases where schools don’t follow year groups (for example, in some special schools), pupils aged 5 to 10 attract the funding.
  • Schools with 16 or fewer eligible pupils receive £1,000 per pupil.
  • Schools with 17 or more eligible pupils receive £16,000 and an additional payment of £10 per pupil.
  • Schools receive 7/12ths of funding in October/November and the remaining 5/12ths in April/May

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How can it be Used?

Schools can use their Sport Premium to:

  • Offer teacher training and to hire qualified sports coaches to work with teachers


  • Provide resources to help teach PE and sport more effectively


  • Introduce new sports or activities and encourage more pupils to take up sport


  • Support and involve the least active children by running or extending school sports clubs, after school and holiday clubs


  • Run sport competitions


  • Run sports activities with other schools

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What Your Funding Should not be Used For

You should not use your funding to:

  • Employ coaches or specialist teachers to cover planning preparation and assessment (PPA) arrangements - this should be funded from your core staffing budgets


  • Teach the minimum requirements of the national curriculum – apart from top-up swimming lessons after pupils’ completion of core lessons (or, in the case of academies and free schools, to teach your existing PE curriculum)


  • Fund capital expenditure – DfE does not set the capitalisation policy for schools, if you are in any doubt as to whether your proposed spending is deemed as capital expenditure, you should first speak with your school business manager or school accountant and their auditors


This information shows that Sports Premium CAN be used to improve your playground with exciting new facilities and equipment to support sport and physical activity which will benefit a generation of school pupils.

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Carried Forward Unspent PE and Sport Premium Grant Funding

As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Government relaxed the ring-fencing arrangements for the PE and Sport Premium in the 2019-2020 academic year, to allow any unspent grant to be carried forward into the 2020-2021 academic year. Due to the continuation of the pandemic, this has also been applied to any unspent funding for the 2020-2021 academic year to 2021-2022 academic year.

Any unspent funding that has been carried forward must be spent in full by 31 July 2022.


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Why Should you use Your Funding for Your Playground?

Playgrounds qualify as a good use of this funding as they provide a safe environment for children to build crucial physical, social, emotional, and imaginative skills. These are the fundamental elements that lead to greater self-confidence, better coordination, and advanced problem-solving skills.


Not only that, but a playground is a resource that children will be excited to use. Keeping exercise fun as a form of play makes it easy to encourage children to partake in physical development at school, and it’s an investment that will benefit pupils for years to come.


The Benefits of Playgrounds

Physical Development

Children can enjoy exciting outdoor activities, instead of just sitting in a playground; they will use the available equipment to play while improving their physical health. Building playground equipment within a school can greatly improve the health of young children.


With climbing equipment in school playgrounds, children can develop their physical fitness and movement skills. Playground equipment, such as our trim trails, helps children develop their physical health.


Creativity and problem-solving skills

With the right equipment, a school playground allows children to try out new things. It’s surprising how creative children can become when they are given imaginative tools like water play, shelters, canopies, and sensory gardens.  Whether they’re exploring their natural environment – learning science skills along the way – creating stories for their friends in a performance area, or persevering with new physical challenges.


When presented with novel opportunities, children get the chance to see the world from a new way and develop exciting new skills.


Social and communication skills

Using equipment that requires more than one user, such as tower systems and adventure trails, will help children learn to interact and talk while playing outside. They will exchange ideas and collaborate while having fun.


Playgrounds are the ideal environment for children to learn the importance of manners and sharing. As well as this, by working together and forming teams, socialising children often become more confident expressing themselves in other environments.


Intellectual and academic development

While classroom learning is important, learning that occurs outside in the natural world is just as significant. Learning is an enduring process and having items that facilitate learning and child development makes a lot of sense.


Playground Equipment to Consider for Your School


MUGA’s (Multi Use Games Areas):

We offer a variety of different sizes and specifications to suit any need or budget. All of our MUGA pitches include a shock pad underlay and have excellent drainage to ensure they can be accessed in all weathers. MUGA’s are the perfect Sport Premium investment, they create a dedicated sports area that will benefit generations of school children

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MUGA End Stations:

Our MUGA End Stations are a perfect additions to any MUGA, whether this is with fencing or without. With HDPE, steel and timber options, as well as designs including basketball nets, you have the opportunity to create a sporting arena that will inspire your young sporting enthusiasts.

Click here to find out about our multi use game areas

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Fitness Equipment:

We have a huge range of Outdoor Fitness Equipment for schools that will help promote a healthy lifestyle and can be incorporated into PE lessons. Our Fitness Equipment creates another opportunity for children to take part in outdoor physical activity and is focused towards both KS2 and KS3 ages.


Trim Trails:

Our Trim Trails provide children with a variety of physical challenges helping them to improve balance, climbing confidence, upper and lower body strength, core stability, coordination, and gross motor skills.

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Parallel Bars and Monkey Bars:

Our Parallel Bars and Monkey Bars are ideal for developing upper body and core strength, coordination, and fine-motor skills through grab and grasp actions and can be added to any Trim Trail design.

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Jungle Climbers:

We have an enormous range of Jungle Climbers suitable for all ages from Early Years through to Key Stage 2. Our Jungle Climbers are accessible from all angles, making the challenge more open-ended and exciting for children, whilst developing their co-ordination skills.

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Daily Mile Track:

Our All-Year-Round Surfacing Daily Mile Track will ensure children can complete their Daily Mile in all weathers. The track requires minimal maintenance (unlike natural grass) and is an ideal alternative for waterlogged school fields and for opening up areas which are currently underused on a school site. Our Daily Mile Track can even be placed over tarmac and concrete to create a softer and more appealing play space.



Surfacing with Sports Line Markings:

Surfacing with specific Sports Line Marking creates a space where competitive games can be played both at school and with the wider community who may wish to use the sports area. Sports Line Markings can be installed for a variety of sports games, hopefully igniting a passion for football or hockey that may last beyond school years.


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Sports Shelters:

Our timber Sports Shelters are perfect for storing equipment, kit and bags during sports and games sessions. Our Sports Shelters make the perfect pairing with our MUGAS and can create a perfect all-year-round space for a ‘Team Chat’ and reflection before, during and after sports lessons


Sports Storage:

Our Large Sports Storage Shed is a walk-in store which can be used by teachers and pupils, it includes lockable doors to keep sports equipment safe and secure. This excellent Sports Storage solution is built to a very high standard and can hold large amounts of resources which includes sports equipment, bikes and trikes. Inside there is a shelf that holds 6 large storage boxes and hooks for resources such as hula hoops. The doors can be held in an open position for ease of access during PE lessons.

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How dbdplay can Help


Our playgrounds make outdoor spaces more exciting and fun, so children can experience the enjoyment of play whilst developing essential skills. Our company is a leading manufacturer of safe and innovative products, and we are proud to provide children with exciting ways to develop.


To learn more about our products and services, or to request a free quote, don’t hesitate to visit our website. Working with our designers will help you create a playground that sparks a love of outdoor play come rain or shine.

 Download our pricing brochure

Lynzi Tiner, Early Years Educational Advisor

Originally published Mar 2, 2022 9:57:15 AM , updated January 31, 2024