Yesterday’s announcement that schools will receive an extra £1.3 billion funding over two years is welcomed by Evolve Managing Director John Bishop – but schools should spend it carefully, he warns.
We welcome yesterday’s school funding announcement that will come as a relief to headteachers who have been forced to make very challenging decisions about the breadth and depth of their educational offer to pupils. Parents will also be relieved about this announcement knowing that their school will be able to sustain and, in some cases, extend the broad curriculum and enrichment opportunities available to its pupils.
However, it is neither strategic nor sustainable for the Department for Education to use the soft drinks levy, which was originally earmarked to improve children’s health through a capital funding scheme, to prop up their core educational budget. We therefore encourage schools to use any additional funding that they receive over the next two years to focus on evidenced programmes that improve the health and wellbeing of their pupils to drive school improvement and raise academic standards.
By using a blend of sport premium funding alongside their strengthened core budgets, schools will be able to target interventions to their cohort of challenging pupils who struggle to access learning and whom require additional pastoral support in order to flourish.
Evolve’s Health Mentors are ideally placed to relieve the acute pressures that are associated with these vulnerable children and we are looking forward to empowering many more schools during 2017/18 and beyond.