Competitive school sports will be compulsory says Cameron
All primary school children in England will be required to play competitive sports, the Prime Minister David Cameron has said.
The announcement comes in the wake of the very successful London 2012. Team GB’s sporting brilliance at the Olympics should be harnessed to inspire the next generation, most stakeholders agree.
The Labour leader Ed Miliband and Shadow Olympics Secretary Tessa Jowell have called for a cross party 10 year plan to boost competitive sports in school.
The coalition government, led by Mr. Cameron, has been under fire for scrapping the Labour targets of 2 hours per week of competitive sports in school. In addition, his Education Secretary Michael Gove has faced severe criticism for allowing schools to sell their playing fields.
And there is cause for concern. A recent Government survey of 10,000 schools revealed that less than 50% of students participate in competitive sports. To rectify the situation, the coalition government will unveil a new curriculum in the autumn, to make competitive sports participation a compulsory requirement.
"Now the London Olympics has been a great success, we need to use the inspiration of the Games to get children playing sport more regularly," Cameron said. "I want to use the example of competitive sport at the Olympics to lead a revival of competitive sport in primary schools.”
Under the Government’s new curriculum, primary pupils will be required to participate in sports such as football, hockey, netball etc.
"We need to end the 'all must have prizes' culture and get children playing and enjoying competitive sports from a young age, linking them up with sports clubs so they can pursue their dreams."
The Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg is not convinced that these proposals are well thought through. He challenged the Prime Minister on why did the coalition government scrap the Schools Sports Partnerships programme if Cameron was serious about school sports.
"This announcement doesn't look like a thought-through plan. There are no details of how this will be supported or funded and no plan for secondary schools,” he said.
The Prime Minister did defend the criticisms against scrapping Labour’s target of 2 hours of sports per week by arguing many schools were meeting the target "by doing things like Indian dance or whatever".