HL Deb 16 December 1999 vol 608 cc56-7WA
Baroness Anelay of St Johns

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans they have to promote the teaching of football to girls in schools. [HL315]

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone)

We believe it is important for all pupils to have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of PE and sports activities. We have set an aspiration that all schools should provide two hours of curricular or extra-curricular activities a week, and that should help to broaden participation. There are obvious benefits in encouraging girls' interest in activities such as football, where popularity is growing, in which their participation has not traditionally been strong. We encourage good practice through the Specialist Sports Colleges programme. There are a number of examples; one specialist college will become a girls' coaching centre early next year and another has set up teams for girls from local primary schools. Officials from my department are also seeking to meet the Football Association to discuss ways of increasing participation.