Youth sports slashed in Wakefield
Wakefield MP Mary Creagh has slammed the Tory/Lib Dem government's £162m cut to school sports. There are two School Sports Partnerships covering the Wakefield District which provided a grant of over £500,000 to all schools in the area. Mary Creagh has called on the Prime Minister to intervene and reverse the decision which will effectively destroy the infrastructure that supports school sport at a time when we should be gearing up for the Olympics.
The previous Labour government guaranteed two hours of PE and sport to young people each week. This has been scrapped by the Tory/Lib Dem government and local schools will lose thousands of pounds provided for PE.
MPs debated the cuts to school sports in the House of Commons on 30 November.
Mary Creagh MP said: "I stand side by side with parents, schools, and the council in Wakefield who are concerned at this decision. Ten years ago just one in five children did two hours of sport a week. After years of Labour investment more than nine out of ten do so today and state school children are enjoying the same sporting opportunities that have always been enjoyed in private schools. All of this is now under threat."
"Parents and coaches in Wakefield will be appalled to see the damage the government are about to do to youth sport and I urge them to re-think this decision."
Cllr Pat Garbutt, Wakefield Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said: "The Government's decision to end the School Sports Partnership Funding will have a significant impact on the opportunities for sporting activity in and between schools. The grant was over £500,000 and was devolved to the sports partnerships and used to fund sporting activities for young people."
"The current programme has seen many benefits including a widening of the range of sports young people have been engaged in, an increase in the uptake of physical activity, an increase in the number of sports competitions and many opportunities for young people to get involved in sporting leadership and coaching roles."
- Labour is against the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition's plans to cut the specialist schools programme, dismantle school sport partnerships and end funding for the Youth Sport Trust.
- The entire £162m grant to support school sport partnerships has been cut it has not been devolved into the main schools grant. Schools will be expected to fund sport from their existing budgets.
- £18m of this went to the Youth Sports Trust to provide the national framework. The rest went direct to partnerships and schools, paying for a number of infrastructure positions and freed curriculum time for some secondary and primary school teachers.
- Ringfenced money which went direct to schools to support the specialism at Sports Colleges has also been de-ringfenced and fed into the Dedicated Schools Grant, along with money supporting all the other specialisms.
- As all Secondary Schools have a Schools Sports Co-ordinator and all Primary Schools Have a Primary Link Teacher, all schools will be affected. Both of these roles are funded to deliver PE and Sport activities as a result of the SSP funding from the Youth Sports Trust (YST). Without the funding from YST, unless schools fund them on their own, these roles will not exist.
Also, the PE CPD programme which is funded by YST and which is accessed by ALL schools will no longer exist nor will the SSPs who run and deliver the programme for schools.
Alongside the cuts to school sport and free swimming, over the last 6 months the Government have also:
Ended Free Swimming for Under 16s and Over 60s: This £140 million scheme allowed young people and pensioners to swim for free in participating local authorities. Independent research showed that this initative was resulting in more people swimming, swimming more frequently and swimming for longer.
Cut the National Sporting Bodies: Over the Spending Review period, Sport England will see its Government funding cut by 33% and UK Sport will see its funding cut by 28%. Sport England is responsible for investing and sustaining participation in grassroots and community sport, and UK Sport is responsible for the success of elite athletes.
Cut Whole Sport Plans: The Coalition have reduced funding for whole sport plans by 15%. This is money that has been directly invested into national sport governing bodies to help drive up participation across 46 sports.