The health and wellbeing of children is vital in a modern era where obesity levels are on the rise and a sedentary lifestyle is prevalent. In 2018-19, schools will receive £100 million pounds from the government to spend specifically on improving health and wellbeing and promoting a more active lifestyle. It was announced back in 2017 that the money is being made available via the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund, also known as The HPCF in the 2018-19 academic year.

 “DfE Release Plans for the £100m Healthy Pupils Capital Fund (19/10/17)
The Department for Education has today released plans for the £100m Healthy Pupils Capital Fund (HPCF).”

What is the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund – The HPCF?

The HPCF is a one off grant that is being provided to schools with the express intention to improve children’s and young people’s physical and mental health. This is done by improving and increasing availability to facilities for physical activity, healthy eating, mental health and wellbeing.

Where is the money coming from?

The government announced a new tax on the Soft Drinks Industry back in 2017, which is a levy placed on soft drinks with excessively high sugar content. The government confirmed the levy of 18 pence per litre, and 24 pence per litre for the two sugar bands at 5g/100ml and 8g/100ml respectively. The levy was to be used as a strong lever to drive producers to change their drinks formulation to reduce the sugar content and hopefully have a positive impact on the UKs health. The levy came into force April 2018, and since then many companies have reformulated their drinks. It was expected to raise around £385m a year, and as a result the government promised a £100m windfall for schools to double the primary schools sports premium, deliver additional funding for school breakfast clubs, and be invested in a new Healthy Pupils Capital Fund. For Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Barnett formula will be applied to spending on these new initiatives in the normal way.

Where is the money going?

Schools! This direct allocation of money is in addition to schools normal School Condition Allocation (SCA), and will be paid alongside it through the same mechanisms. Schools are able to pool the funding with other organisations and even take advantage of match-funding opportunities where appropriate. The amount schools will receive is directly linked to a few factors including pupil numbers, location and how long since the setting has been refurbished. You can find further details on how the funding allocation arrived on the DfE site – Condition Funding Methodology for 2018-19 below.

What can it be spent on?

The money is not ring fenced, but it is being provided to allow for capital spending in hope to improve health and wellbeing. As a result of this, it can be spent on sports equipment for your schools such as basketball equipment, table tennis equipment or even large outdoor equipment.

If you need some inspiration on what you could be purchasing for your school, have a look at some of our products in our sports section or feel free to speak to one of our account management team members today to discuss possibilities. If you are looking for something larger and want to make a real impact on your school grounds, have a look at what our partners, SportSafe can do for you:

What is it not for?

There are lots of things that it is not intended for, but ultimately if it is not a capital item that will positively impact health and wellbeing of your pupils, then it shouldn’t really be a consideration.

Support for the initiative

The move has received lots of support from across a range of organisations. Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England said “This bold and welcome action will send a powerful signal and incentivise soft drinks companies to act on the health consequences of their products.

Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England said “The new Soft Drink Industry Levy is great news for the health of our children and builds on the latest evidence.

Sarah Wollaston, Chair of the Health Select Committee said “I was delighted to hear there will now be some action on taxing sugary drinks companies in a way which encourages the companies to reduce the level of sugar in their drinks and which provides a boost to children’s sports and school funding.

For further information to help you achieve the most from your PE and Games activities, visit our Sports Hub here:

Related Links

Sugar tax revenue helps tackle childhood obesity