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Govt to continue funding primary school sports

06/02/2014 Kelly
Primary schools are set to receive a £150 million per year funding boost until 2020 as part of the government's plans to promote sport in education.

The decision to extend the direct funding scheme for school sport, announced by prime minister David Cameron, is part of an attempt to secure the Olympic and Paralympic legacy. 

Originally planned as a two-year initiative to run to 2015-16, it has been extended because some schools have been reluctant to take up funding due to uncertainties about whether it will continue after the election, the Guardian reports. 

Funding was announced in March 2013 and began in September. Head teachers receive the money directly and decide how best to allocate it to provide sporting activities for youngsters.

Primary schools will continue to be given £8,000 per year, in addition to £5 per pupil. 

Downing Street said a typical primary school with 250 primary aged pupils received £9,250 this year. This is the equivalent of around two days a week of a primary teacher or a coach's time and enough to ensure every pupil in the school can do sport with a specialist.

Mr Cameron emphasised the benefits of sport, such as promoting an active lifestyle and encouraging children to make friends.

He also mentioned some of its wider positive social effects, saying: "Quality school sport has benefits that spread right across the curriculum and beyond - it develops confidence and a sense of achievement, it teaches young people how to rise to a challenge and nurtures the character and skills that will help them get on and succeed in life."

A variety of famous sporting figures expressed their backing for the scheme. Athlete Mo Farah said school sports can make a substantial difference to people's lives and had helped him to become successful.

Olympic and Paralympic legacy ambassador Lord Coe said a long-term funding commitment would help to achieve the London 2012 organisers' goals of inspiring a generation of young people to get involved in sport.

Posted by Harriet McGowanADNFCR-2164-ID-801690808-ADNFCR
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