HC Deb 15 June 1999 vol 333 c131W
Mr. Spring

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what action he has taken to target coaching support to those schools where sporting commitment is below average. [86686]

Mr. Charles Clarke

Under the Department's Specialist Schools programme, Sports Colleges provide specialist support to local schools to help raise the standards of teaching and learning in physical education and sport. This can be in the form of in-service training for teachers or the sharing of specialist sports equipment, facilities and other resources. Sports Colleges also act as local centres of sports development and are able to disseminate good practice in their geographical area.

In addition, the Coaching for Teachers Programme, funded by Sport England and co-ordinated by the National Coaching Foundation, provides opportunities for teachers involved in the delivery of extra-curricular school sport to improve their teaching and coaching, update their knowledge by attending Governing Body courses, and obtain qualifications. Over 11,000 teachers have received training through this scheme.

The Government also fund Sport England, whose Active Schools programme ensures quality sports provision in schools through a variety of initiatives, which include coaching materials and training, such as TOP Play, BT TOP Sport, Sportsmark and Sportsmark Gold awards and the Sporting Ambassadors scheme.