Cameron announces £150 million boost for school sport as part of London 2012 legacy

Saturday, 16 March 2013
By Duncan Mackay

David Cameron launches school sport fundingMarch 16 - Prime Minister David Cameron today announced an annual £150 million ($227 million/€173 million) cash injection to school sport for pupils in England aimed at ensuring the legacy of London 2012. 

A primary school with 250 pupils would receive £9,250 ($13,980/€10,670) per year, which is around two days a week of a primary teacher or a coach's time, according to Cameron.

The Football Association, the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Rugby Football Union and Premier League have all backed the scheme.

The aim is to try and "create a culture" in schools that encourages all children to be active and enjoy sport.

The funding is "ring-fenced", meaning it can only be spent on sports activities such as after scholl clubs, coaching and dedicated sports programmes.

"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," said Cameron.

"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.

"With this new approach to sport, we can create a culture in our schools that encourages all children to be active and enjoy sport, and helps foster the aspirations of future Olympians and Paralympians.

"Whether that is the future Jessica Ennis, Ellie Simmonds or Mo Farah, or someone who will simply learn to love sport and exercise for a lifetime, this investment will benefit a whole generation of children for many years to come."

Cameron launched the scheme today along with Sebastian Coe, chairman of both London 2012 and the British Olympic Association. 

Sebastian Coe and David Cameron at launch of school sport schemeSebastian Coe helped Prime Minister David Cameron launch the £150 million funding package for school sport at a special event

"When I stood up in Singapore in 2005 I spoke of London's vision to connect young people with the inspirational power of the Games so they are inspired to choose sport," said Coe, Cameron's Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Ambassador.

"Today's announcement does just that and by focussing on primary schools we have the opportunity to use sport and physical activity to shape the daily lives of young people.

"I am particulaly pleased with the proposals around initial teacher training and continual professional development because I know from my own experience what an impact teachers and their engagement can have on the lives of young people."

Funded by the Department for Education, who are contributing £80 million ($121 million/€92 million), the Department of Health, who are giving £60 million ($91 million/€69 million), and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, who are putting £10 million ($15 million/€12 million) towards the fund, the funds go directly into the hands of primary school head teachers for them to spend on sport.  

How much each school receives will be calculated by reference to the number of primary-aged pupils.

All schools with 17 or more primary-aged pupils will receive a lump sum of £8,000 ($12,000/€9,000) plus a premium of £5 ($7.50/€5.75) per pupil.

Smaller schools will receive the sum of £500 ($750/€575) per pupil.

"This is a landmark day for PE and school sport and now the work really begins to make sure this impressive investment benefits all young people," said Baroness Sue Campbell, chair of the Youth Sport Trust

"For many years we have been championing the need for greater investment in primary school PE and school sport provision, and it is welcome news that the Government has now recognised this as a priority area.

"If this funding is to reach every young person it is important to recognise that schools will need support in how to maximise its impact.

"Funding will need to be used in a way that makes high quality PE and sport sustainable, and embeds both within school life. Primary schools in particular will need support to achieve this.

"Investment in teacher training at primary school level is desperately needed.

"For too long a child's first experience of physical education has been delivered by teachers who lack the confidence and in some cases the competence to deliver PE well.

"We hope this investment will address that and build on the work that we have been pioneering through our Bupa: Start to move programme."

Contact the writer of this story at duncan.mackay@insidethegames.biz


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