Schools are to receive £415 million to help pupils benefit from healthier, more active lifestyles, Education Secretary Justine Greening announced today (28 February 2017).

Primary, secondary and sixth-form colleges will be able to use the funding to pay for facilities to support physical education (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 PE and sport premium, breakfast clubs and universal infant free school meals, it represents over £1.3 billion investment in the 2018 to 2019 academic year 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 wellbeing benefits can last a lifetime.

That’s why we’re investing £415 million 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 (MATs), 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 to 2019 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 £415 million 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.

Notes to editors

The new healthy pupils capital programme funding will be available in 2018 to 2019. 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.

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