HC Deb 14 January 2003 vol 397 c559W
Nick Harvey

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has(a) to increase the number of specialist sports colleges and (b) to speed up the process of accreditation; and if she will make a statement. [90000]

Mr. Miliband

There are currently 992 specialist schools in England of which 161 are specialist sports colleges. On 2 October 2002, the Prime Minister announced that there would be 240 new Specialist Sports Colleges by the end of 2005.

On 28 November 2002, Charles Clarke announced that the cap on funding for the expansion of the Specialist Schools Programme has been lifted. This means that any school which meets the required standard will be able to become a specialist school. A new partnership fund will be set up to help schools which have experienced genuine difficulty in raising sponsorship.

The Youth Sport Trust is part funded by the Department for Education and Skills to work with schools seeking to become specialist sports colleges to secure that sufficient high quality applications come forward.