PM set for U-turn on school sports

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David Cameron was in retreat last night over the Government's plans to cut funding for school sports following protests from top athletes.

Ministers were facing a backlash against moves to scrap the £162m fund targeted on boosting sports standards in English schools. Critics warned that the move would threaten after-school clubs and cost the jobs of sport coaches and PE teachers – just as London staged the 2012 Olympics.

Mr Cameron signalled a rethink over the plans yesterday, saying he was looking "very carefully" at the issue and planned to make an announcement soon. Downing Street acknowledged that there had been concern "at local level" about the move and said that Mr Cameron had asked the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, to look again at the decision.

Mr Cameron has previously denounced the Schools Sports Partnerships (SSPs) as a "complete failure" and Downing Street maintained that it viewed the current system as "overly bureaucratic".