Sports Commission will carry on with primary school PE

A TOTAL of £1m. has been ring-fenced by Education, Sport & Culture for the next five years for the Guernsey Sports Commission to deliver physical education in the Bailiwick’s primary schools.

The Guernsey Sports Commission, which is holding football tournaments at Beau Sejour this week as part of its On Your Marks initiative, will deliver PE in primary schools for the next five years. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 28575509)
The Guernsey Sports Commission, which is holding football tournaments at Beau Sejour this week as part of its On Your Marks initiative, will deliver PE in primary schools for the next five years. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 28575509)

The partnership was established last year with the intention to review and extend the contract if successful. The funding – £200,000 a year – comes from the committee reprioritising its revenue budget.

The commission was tasked initially with helping schools adopt The Primary Schools Physical Literacy Framework, which was developed by Sport England, UK Coaching, and a number of other organisations.

The commission is now delivering more than 6,000 hours of curriculum time, from Reception to Year 6, and operating with more staff who have embedded themselves within schools.

‘Our partnership with the Guernsey Sports Commission allows primary schoolchildren to access high-quality PE delivered by subject experts at less cost to the taxpayer than would otherwise be the case. It is a great example of how government and commissioned services in the third sector can work in partnership for the benefit of our community,’ said ESC president Matt Fallaize.

‘Extending the grant agreement provides the commission and primary schools with certainty for the next five years. It will allow the commission to strengthen further what it is doing in our primary schools.

‘Sport and physical activity are an integral part of island life. Investing in better physical health is valuable in itself and evidence shows it also supports well-being and academic performance. The committee is looking forward to continuing to work with the commission on this excellent initiative to keep raising the bar.’

He added: ‘Within the terms of our partnership, the commission has increased the inclusion element of its programme by directing additional PE resources to Le Rondin and The Pod at La Mare de Carteret. The commission also remained active in schools during the pandemic to ensure PE provision was consistent for children who were in school.’

The agreement also provides for the Education Office to oversee schools’ physical education classes, which promotes consistency in the quality of the content being delivered in these lessons.

A number of recommendations made by the committee in the first service level agreement from 2019 have all been implemented by the commission.

The new agreement will run until August 2025.

‘The school sports partnership is a key workstream within our five-year action plan and this guaranteed funding means we are well-placed to continue to achieve our objectives,’ said commission chairman Jon Ravenscroft.

‘Having our staff embedded in schools supporting PE has allowed us to improve the opportunity for all children to have a positive experience of sport and physical activity in school and then go on to join clubs and sporting organisations out of school.

‘I would like to thank the head teachers for their engagement and the leadership they have shown in welcoming our staff and integrating them into their school staff teams. Also thanks to Deputy Fallaize, who continues to support and champion sport.

‘I would also like to say a huge thank you to our long list of private sponsors, who provide financial support allowing us to match the funding from the States of Guernsey to deliver this fantastic initiative.’

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