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School Sports

Volume 518: debated on Monday 15 November 2010

18. What assessment he has made of the likely effects on sport in schools of planned changes in his Department’s expenditure. (23537)

The planned changes in the Department’s expenditure on school sport, beginning in 2011-12, will enable us to deliver on our coalition Government commitment to create an annual Olympic-style school sport event to encourage more competitive sport in schools.

Just because the Secretary of State hated sport when he was at school, that is no reason to deprive today’s youngsters of the opportunity to take part. When we came to power, just two out of 10 youngsters did two hours of sport a week; today the figure is nine out of 10, as a result of the extra funding and support that we put in. How many will it be as a result of the Government’s cuts?

I welcome the hon. Gentleman’s new-found interest in sport from the Opposition Front Bench, because he had not asked any questions about it in his five years in the House previously. Since 2003, when the school sports partnership was introduced, £2.4 billion has been added to expenditure on sport in schools, and yet still, barely one in five students in secondary schools are involved in competitive sports against other schools. We think that we can get a much better deal by adjusting the way we do things.