HC Deb 02 July 2003 vol 408 cc289-90W
Dr. Kumar

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps he plans to take in response to the recent Ofsted report concerning the quality of school PE lessons; and if he will make a statement. [122301]

Mr. Stephen Twigg

The Government welcome Ofsted's report on phases one and two of the School Sport Co-ordinator partnerships. The report shows good progress in the early years of the programme: the profile of physical education (PE) and school sport has been raised; the majority of partnerships have made substantial progress; and out of hours sports activities have been widened and increased. The report will help us ensure that the expansion of the network of partnerships, to include 75 per cent, of schools in England by 2006, builds on best practice and delivers lasting benefits for children.

An additional £459 million is being invested over three years (from April 2003) to deliver a national PE, School Sport and Club Links strategy. The aim—a joint Department for Education and Skills and Department for Culture, Media and Sport PSA target—is to have increased the percentage of five to 16-years olds who spend a minimum of two hours a week on high quality PE and school sport, within and beyond the curriculum, to 75 per cent, by 2006.

The School Sport Co-ordinator programme is just one element of our strategy and focuses on enhancing links between schools and their local communities and increasing the quality and quantity of out of school hours sports opportunities and competitive school sport. We will raise the quality of PE teaching by delivering a professional development programme for teachers and others. This will be piloted later this year and then rolled out to all schools from April 2004.

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