Schools to receive £415m from sugar tax to encourage healthier lifestyles

Education secretary unveils £415 million 'Healthy Pupils Capital Programme' for schools to invest in promoting healthier lifestyles

Will Hazell

PE staff

Schools are to get £415 million from the soft drinks industry levy to help pupils benefit from healthier, more active lifestyles, Justine Greening has announced.

The education secretary said primary, secondary and sixth form colleges will be able to use the money – dubbed the Healthy Pupils Capital Programme – to pay for sports facilities, after school activities and healthy eating.

They will also be able to use the funding to improve facilities for pupils with physical conditions or to support young people dealing with mental health issues.

Ms 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.”

Local authorities and larger multi-academy trusts will be allocated funds for schools and will make decisions on how it is invested.

Smaller MATs, standalone academies and sixth form centres will be able to bid for grants for one off projects.

The money will be raised by the levy on sugary drinks, which was first announced by the government in the 2016 budget.  

It will be available to schools in 2018-19 and more details on how the fund will be distributed will be published later this year.

The government said the funding would not fall below £415 million irrespective of how much money the levy raises.

When combined with funding for the PE and sports premium, breakfast club and universal infant free school meals, the government said its investment in promoting healthier lifestyles for young people totals over £1.3 billion. 

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Will Hazell

Will Hazell

Will Hazell is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @whazell

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