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Government squandering Olympic legacy one year on

A year on from the Opening Ceremony of London 2012, Labour says a golden opportunity for school sport has been wasted.

The Tory-led Government has:

No strategy for sport – there have been initiatives and announcements but no joined up thinking;

Scrapped Labour’s target for school children to do at least 2 hours of PE and sport in school each week;

Undermined Labour’s successful School Sports Partnerships which were helping more school children do sport;

Watered down regulations on school playing fields;

Not carried out any audit of sports and recreation facilities available to local communities across the country;

Failed to capitalise on the spirit and enthusiasm of the volunteer games makers.

This has undermined the Olympic Legacy:

A survey by the Smith Institute found that 68% of school sport staff have recorded a drop in children taking part since the loss of ring fenced funding for school sports partnerships;

Ofsted has expressed concern that in some schools ‘there is not enough physical education in PE’ and advised the Government to devise ‘a new national strategy for PE and school sport that builds on the successes of school sport partnerships’;

The latest Active People survey found that the number of people participating in sport once a week has fallen by 200,000;

According to a survey by the Chance to Shine charity, more than half of children (54%) fail to get at least two hours of physical education every week.

Labour is therefore calling on the Government to develop a six point plan for school and community sport:

Develop a 10 year national sport strategy including school and community sport

Reinstate the minimum 2 hour target for PE in schools (supported by 97% of school sport staff)

Ensure that all schools, including academies and free schools have a suitable amount of outdoor space for sport

Carry out an audit of sports and recreation facilities by council

Review teacher training to ensure sport is a high priority, particularly in early years and primary

Ensure there are PE subject coordinators in all primary schools and qualified PE teachers in all secondary schools.

Harriet Harman MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said:

“This Government had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to carry forward a sporting legacy after the success of London 2012.

“But instead, their lack of strategy and reversal of successful Labour projects means they are squandering the Olympic legacy.”

Stephen Twigg MP, Shadow Education Secretary, said:

“David Cameron and Michael Gove have failed to secure a school sport legacy.

“All children should be getting a minimum of two hours of rigorous exercise and competitive sport every week. But this Government has made that less likely. They need to change course.”

Clive Efford MP, Shadow Sports Minister, said:

“Instead of preparing a strategic plan across the whole of Government they have spent the last two years undermining the structures on which a true legacy could have been built.”


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