Westminster Education Forum

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Next steps for sport and PE for children and young people in England

new government priorities | growing participation | curriculum review & timetabling | improving school provision | teacher training | engaging under-represented groups | supporting mental health & wellbeing

Morning, Thursday, 26th September 2024


This conference will examine next steps for sport and PE provision in England.

It will be a timely opportunity for policymakers and stakeholders to discuss priorities for policy, following the launch of the new Government’s Curriculum and Assessment Review, which aims to deliver a broader curriculum with increased access to subjects such as sport. It also comes with commitments by the Prime Minister before the election to equal access for girls and boys to sport, and curriculum reform to support provision of PE.

Delegates will consider the impact of the Children’s Wellbeing Bill, to be introduced to Parliament this year, which will require schools to reduce the number of kit items required for PE in order to reduce barriers to participation for families struggling with costs.

We also expect discussion on the future direction of existing policy, including:

  • the School Sport and Activity Action Plan, looking at the way forward for schools and key stakeholders in tackling challenges they face in providing high quality PE and sport
  • Enhancing physical education provision and improving access to sport and physical activity in school guidance, which includes examples of high quality provision, and the ways in which schools can remove barriers to participation and build relationships with local and national sporting bodies

Delegates will look at approaches to supporting primary and secondary schools, in line with the Chief Medical Officer’s guideline of at least two hours of sport and PE per week.

Sessions in the agenda look at tackling barriers to participation of pupils in sport and PE, and latest thinking on reducing inequalities affecting girls, certain ethnic groups, underprivileged children, and those with SEND. Delegates will discuss best practice for engagement and implementing appropriate adjustments, ways of improving coordination between departments within schools, such as employing Inclusion and Learning Support Teams, and opportunities for forming relationships with sporting bodies and training more female coaches.

Future funding will be discussed, including use of the PE and Sport premium in primary schools to support aims for daily physical activity, along with issues relating to accountability with the new mandatory digital tool introduced for reporting use of pupil premium funding. Delegates will also discuss the long-term funding model for sport and PE in schools, with a commitment to funding through the premium until the end of the 2024-25 academic year.

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: Kate Thornton-Bousfield, Head, PE and Achievement, Youth Sport Trust; and Charlie Crane, Senior Manager, Children and Young People, Sport England.

Areas for discussion include:

  • policy priorities: the new Government’s Curriculum and Assessment Review and increasing access to sport - next steps for provision in England’s schools - the way forward for boosting high quality PE and sport - boosting participation
  • funding: the use of pupil premium funding and school accountability - funding of sporting facilities
  • delivery: curriculum design and standards - timetable scheduling for PE - effective assessment methods - implementation of recently published government guidance - examples of best practice 
  • provision: opportunities and challenges for raising sport and PE standards in schools - improving extra-curricular activity offers outside school hours 
  • inclusion:
    • engaging under-represented groups - appropriate adjustments for young people with SEND and coordination between school departments
    • building upon successes, such as the boost to girls playing football and young people engaging in walking, cycling and using scooters for travel
  • collaboration:
    • promoting multi-agency coordination and best practice across schools and the wider sports sector
    • specialist training for teachers - post-16 sport and progression pathways for those studying sport
  • impact: latest thinking on how physical activity supports the health, mental wellbeing, confidence and behaviour of children and young people

The proceedings of the conference will be circulated more widely, to Parliamentarians, ministerial offices, and government and regulatory officials with an interest in the issues being discussed. All delegates will also receive a video recording of the conference.

Keynote Speakers

Charlie Crane

Senior Manager, Children and Young People, Sport England

Kate Thornton-Bousfield

Head of PE and Achievement, Youth Sport Trust

Keynote Speakers

Charlie Crane

Senior Manager, Children and Young People, Sport England

Kate Thornton-Bousfield

Head of PE and Achievement, Youth Sport Trust


Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

Baroness Sater


Richard Slade

Executive Headteacher, Plumcroft Primary School, London

Penny Lewis

Subject Advisor, Physical Education and Sport, Pearson Education

Stephanie Hilbourne

CEO, Women in Sport

Dr Andy Daly-Smith

Reader, Physical Activity and Healthy Childhood, University of Bradford

Sara Mallett

Qualifications Product Manager, OCR

Professor Kiara Lewis

Professor, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Birmingham City University

Jane Knowles

CEO, Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership

Dr Jackie Day-Garner

Associate Dean, University of Central Lancashire

Wilson Frimpong

Joint Network Manager, PE and School Sports Network