HC Deb 10 November 2003 vol 413 cc66-7W
Mr. Best

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) if she will make a statement on the School Sports Co-ordinator programme; [136644]

(2) how many school sports co-ordinators are in post; [136645]

(3) what steps she is taking to improve school sports facilities; [136646]

(4) what steps her Department is taking in conjunction with local authorities to strengthen school sports; [136647]

(5) if she will make a statement on recent progress in highlighting the importance of sport in schools. [136655]

Mr. Caborn

The Government is investing more than £1 billion in England to transform PE and school sport. This funding will help deliver an ambitious Public Service Agreement target, shared by DCMS and DfES, to increase the percentage of school children who spend a minimum of two hours each week on high quality PE and school sport within and beyond the curriculum to 75 per cent. by 2006.

Spearheading action is a massive expansion of the School Sport Co-ordinator programme. There are currently some 1,200 School Sport Co-ordinators and 6,000 Primary and Special School Link Teachers. This means that 30 per cent. of all schools in England now belong to one of the 222 School Sport Partnerships. We are working closely with local education authorities to ensure a continued strategic roll-out of this element of the national strategy for PE, school sport and club links.

The investment also includes expenditure of £581 million from the New Opportunities Fund over the period 2002–03 to 2005–06 to bring about a step change in the provision of sports facilities for young people and the community generally; £130 million from the Space for Sport and Arts programme since 2000–01 for new or modernised sports and arts facilities in primary schools in 65 deprived LEAs; and £10 million from the Sporting Playgrounds programme to enhance primary school playgrounds in 27 deprived LEAs.

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