DfE Announcement: Millions of Pounds to Transform School Facilities and Encourage Healthier Lifestyles

Association of Physical EducationSchools are to receive £415million to help pupils benefit from healthier, more active lifestyles, Education Secretary Justine Greening announced today.  Primary, secondary and sixth form colleges will be able to use the funding to pay for facilities to support PE, after school activities and healthy eating.

Schools will also be able to use the new Healthy Pupils Capital Programme to improve facilities for children with physical conditions or support young people struggling with mental health issues.

Alongside the funding for the Primary PE and Sport Premium, Breakfast Clubs and Universal Infant Free School Meals, it represents over £1.3billion investment in 2018/19 to help young people live healthier lifestyles.  This builds on wider government work such as the recent Sports Strategy.

Education Secretary, Justine Greening said:

Schools can really help our children get a healthy start in life from exercise and sport, and also from knowing what a healthy diet means. It’s not only good for them while they’re in education, but the health (and well-being) benefits can last a lifetime.  That’s why we’re investing £415m in facilities to support sports, after school activities and promoting healthy eating, so we can secure the future health of our young people.”

Local authorities and larger multi-academy trusts will receive an allocation for schools and will make decisions locally on how this money is invested. Smaller multi-academy trusts, individual academies and sixth form centres will be able to bid for grants for specific one off projects.

The money – from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy – will be available to schools in the 2018/19 financial year and more details on how the fund will be distributed will be published later this year. Government has also pledged to ensure that the amount schools receive will not fall below £415million regardless of the funds generated by the levy.

The Healthy Pupils Capital Programme will build on the government’s plans for schools to provide a longer school day by changing the focus of the scheme to provide new facilities or improve existing ones to make it easier for a range of extra-curricular activities to be provided.

Further information:

The new Healthy Pupils Capital Programme funding will be available in 2018-19. All state-funded primary, secondary and sixth form schools in England will be eligible to receive funding through one of two mechanisms, as follows:

  • All local authority community, foundation, and voluntary controlled schools will receive an allocation to their Responsible Body through a central formula which will account for pupil numbers. Voluntary-aided schools will also be funded in this instance as part of the local authority allocation. Also eligible will be MATs that currently qualify for a direct School Condition capital allocation.

Responsible Bodies will then make spending decisions based on local context.

  • Smaller MATs, single academy trusts and sixth form centres will be eligible to bid for funding through a new Healthy Pupils Capital Fund.
    Information on the allocation formula, spending guidance and bidding criteria will follow in the summer.

Sue Wilkinson MBE, afPE’s CEO said:

We are delighted to hear of the new investment from 2018-19 for schools. The £415million will be we welcomed by headteachers as part of the wider strategy to ensure that children and young people are physically active which will contribute to increased physical and emotional well-being. The ongoing investment from Government will support strategies for reducing childhood obesity.  afPE will be urging the sector to ensure that there is a holistic approach to physical health, emotional well-being which will result in a positive impact on achievement.

Mike Crichton, afPE’s Chair said:

We are delighted that additional funding is being made available to schools for 2018-2019,  via the Soft Drinks Industry Levy to improve provision and education young people in the benefits of a healthier and more active lifestyle. Schools can kick start the journey of a young person into a positive and healthy lifestyle through high quality PE, physical activity, sport, health and physical, emotional and mental well-being programmes. With this supportive funding; great, joined up and creative ideas can and will help transform young people’s lives for life long benefits.

For more information from the DfE, please click here.


Wiltshire and Swindon Sport (WASP) aim to promote and support sport and physical activity. We can support your club, school and workplace with a range of services including:

If you think we can help you please get in touch… Kirsty@wiltssport.org.uk or call 01225 781500.


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