Scrapping the school PE budget will not reduce participation in sport, Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, has insisted.
It was announced in October that £162m would no longer be set aside for a national PE scheme, with headteachers in England instead deciding how much of their budget to allocate to sports teaching. Mr Gove's Labour counterpart, Andy Burnham, accused him of jeopardising a decade of improvement in school sports, but the Education Secretary told the BBC yesterday that a new "school Olympics" would be more effective at increasing participation.
"Unlike the situation we have at the moment where the number of people playing rugby, hockey and football has either flat-lined, or gone down in some cases, we'll have a revival of team sports," he said. According to Mr Gove, despite £2.4bn of investment in seven years, only one in five children takes part in competitive sports matches against other schools.