The government’s new school sports policy has been met with unanimous approval from the various sports governing bodies. Prime Minister David Cameron and his Olympic legacy advisor Lord Coe recently announced a long-awaited strategy which is set to hand school sport a £150m funding boost (per year for two years).
This ring-fenced money will be given directly to primary schools in England and they will be able to pay for extra coaching sessions to improve the quality of sports and PE provision. The new funds for primary schools come directly from the Department for Education, Department of Health and Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “We can create a culture in our schools that encourages all children to be active and enjoy sport. The Olympic and Paralympic Games marked an incredible year for this country and I will always be proud that we showed the world what Britain can do. I want to ensure the Games count for the future too and that means capitalising on the inspiration young people took from what they saw during those summer months.”
The Government says the new scheme will involve:
>A typical primary school with 250 primary-aged pupils would receive £9,250 per year.
>A greater role for sporting and voluntary organisations, including the National Governing Bodies.
>Sport England investing £1.5 million a year of lottery funding through the County Sport partnerships.
>More primary teachers with a particular specialism in PE via new teacher training programmes.
Shadow Sports Minister Clive Efford said: “This money is extremely welcome but we would be in a much better situation had the government not taken £162m away from SSPs in 2010 and left the structures that were in place to crumble. David Cameron wanting praise for putting money back into school sport is like a burglar returning stolen goods and expecting to be hailed as a public hero.”
Andy Reed, chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance said: “It’s a policy that will tick a lot of the boxes. There’s investment, there’s ring-fencing, there’s NGB involvement and there’s measurement, all of which were at the top of the list for sports bodies. There was a glaring gap in the Government’s Olympic legacy plans and this policy addresses that. This is an acknowledgement that PE and sport should play a central role in every pupil’s experience and that the skills they give children are as important as being able to read, write and add. It also recognises that it makes sense for schools to draw on the expertise of governing bodies as early and as deeply as practical. Ministers should encourage heads to embrace the wide variety of physical activity on offer to them so that every child can find something that they like.”
Increased focus on sport across schools is a welcome political shift for the trophy industry and is sure to create demand for school trophies to reward high performing individuals across all sports.
www.premiertrophies.co.uk – the trophy and engraving specialist