Concern over school sport access

Blackpool Citizen: The Youth Sport Trust is concerned that some schools are struggling to give pupils wide sports opportunities The Youth Sport Trust is concerned that some schools are struggling to give pupils wide sports opportunities

Access to good quality school sport may still be a "postcode lottery", campaigners have suggested.

The Youth Sport Trust said it is concerned that while some schools are offering youngsters a wide range of opportunities on the sports field, others are still struggling to give their pupils the same chances.

It said it is launching a new survey to examine the quality and providing of PE and school sport across England, adding that there has been no national survey on the subject since 2010.

The poll, which comes at the start of National School Sport week, will look at rates of participation in school sport as well as the value schools put on PE, the Trust said.

Chief executive John Steele said: "National School Sport Week is the ideal time to shine a spotlight on the importance of PE and school sport. We work with many schools that share our belief that a good PE and sport offer can raise the achievement and attainment of all young people.

"However, we do have significant concerns that the level of provision across the country is not consistent, which could be resulting in a postcode lottery of provision.

"Our survey will investigate this as it risks leaving some young people without the high-quality experience they deserve."

The survey comes just days after Ofsted warned that too many pupils are being denied the chance to take part in competitive sport by state schools who treat it as an "optional extra".

In a new report, it said children's education was poorer if they were deprived of the chance to compete.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: "We are giving primary schools over £150m a year specifically for sport and PE. A typical school will receive £9,250, enough to pay for a specialist PE teacher for a day a week to work alongside existing staff. This is a huge boost to school sport and follows our creation of the Sainsbury's School Games - an annual, nationwide school sport competition.

"Too few children have been taking part in competitive sport in recent years. From September, our new curriculum will deliver competitive sport at all ages. The new curriculum will also encourage pupils to get involved in sport outside of school hours."

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