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School Sports

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures he is taking (a) to increase participation in sporting activities at schools and (b) to widen the number of sporting activities that are available to pupils while at school. (86418)

The Government are investing over £1.5 billion (including lottery funding) in the five years to 2008 to implement the national school sport strategy. The Departments for Education and Skills and for Culture, Media and Sport share a public service agreement target to increase the percentage of five to 16-year-olds who spend a minimum of two hours each week on high quality physical education and school sport to 75 per cent. by 2006 and 85 per cent. by 2008. The long-term ambition—by 2010—is to offer all children four hours of sport. Spearheading action is the creation of a national network of sports colleges and school sport partnerships.

Good progress is being made. Currently 80 per cent. of schools in England are within a school sport partnership and all schools will be by September 2006. The 2004/05 school sport survey found that 69 per cent. of pupils in schools within a partnership were spending at least two hours in a typical week on high quality physical education and sport, an 11 per cent. increase on 2003/04. The survey also found that partnership schools offer on average almost 15 different sports. Copies of the 2003/04 and 2004/05 survey reports have been placed in the House Library.