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School Sports

Volume 448: debated on Monday 3 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) if he will take steps to increase the amount of time allocated to sport in schools in the national curriculum; (81220)

(2) what recent research he has commissioned into the types of physical education taught in schools.

Head teachers are responsible for curriculum planning and it is for them to decide how much time they devote to physical education and sport in the national curriculum. The Department for Education and Skills shares an ambitious PSA target with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to increase the percentage of five to 16-year-olds who take part in at least two hours high quality PE and school sport each week, to 75 per cent. by 2006 and on to 85 per cent. by 2008. The long term aim, by 2010, is for all children to be offered at least four hours of sport every week. This will comprise at least two hours high quality PE and sport at school and the opportunity for at least a further two to three hours beyond the school day, delivered by a range of school, community and club providers.

The annual National School Sport Survey is our prime tool for measuring progress towards these targets. The results of the 2004/05 survey showed that schools in school sport partnerships provided, on average, 15 different sports for their pupils. These ranged from football, which was provided by 97 per cent. of schools, to less traditional sports like rowing, bowls and squash. The results of the survey were published in September 2005 and copies were placed in the Libraries of both Houses.