Schools in England will get £415m for sports and healthy eating from sugar tax in 2018-19
The soft drinks industry levy, commonly called the sugar tax, is to be used to promote healthier lifestyles. It was announced in last year’s budget and government forecasts expect it to raise a total of £520m in 2018-19.
All schools will be allocated funds to help with facilities for physical exercise and sport. Money can also be spent on mental health provision but can’t be used to pay for staff. In addition to sports and exercise, the levy will pay for an extended school day at 25 per cent of secondary schools in the most disadvantaged areas of England. Funding will also go toward the expansion of healthy eating breakfast clubs.
The Education Secretary Justine Greening said such “health and wellbeing benefits can last a lifetime”.
The idea is to tackle childhood obesity by applying a levy that increases according to the amount of sugar in drinks. Money raised is to be spent on improving health in schools. The levy is expected to be an incentive for the food and drinks industry to cut levels of sugar in products popular with children and young people.
All state funded primary and secondary schools will receive their funding starting in 2018 and sixth forms will also benefit from a slice of the sports levy. In addition to the initial allocation there will be a bidding process for funding for specific projects.
“Schools can really help our children get a healthy start in life from exercise and sport” said Ms Greening. “It’s not only good for them while they’re in education but the health and wellbeing benefits can last a lifetime.
Ministers confirmed that funding will continue to be ring-fenced for school sports until 2020.