Schools to get £415m from sugar tax to promote healthy lifestyles

SCHOOLS will share £415m from the Government's sugar tax on fizzy drinks to promote healthier, more active lifestyles for pupils, education secretary Justine Greening has announced.

Primary and secondary schools, along with sixth form colleges, will be able to use funding from the Healthy Pupils Capital Programme to pay for PE facilities, after school activities and healthy eating initiatives.

They will also be able to invest in improving facilities for children with physical conditions or to support young people with mental health issues.

The funding will be available from 2018-19.

"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," Greening said.

"That's why we're investing £415m in facilities to support sports, after-school activities and promoting healthy eating, so we can secure the future health of our young people."

Local authorities and larger multi-academy trusts (MATs) will receive allocations to distribute locally. Smaller MATs, individual academies and sixth form centres will be able to bid for grants for one-off projects.

The Government has committed to maintaining funding for programme will not fall below £415m a year, regardless of how much is raised by the Soft Drinks Industry Levy.

The levy, which was announced in the 2016 Queen's Speech, will apply a charge to soft drinks with added sugar from April 2018.