A Lancashire head teacher has welcomed Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to give schools extra money for sport and physical education until the end of the decade.
Mr Cameron announced yesterday the £150m-a-year fund will be extended until 2020 in a bid to secure the legacy of the London Olympics.
The fund, which began in September, goes directly to primary school head teachers so they can decide how best to use it to provide sporting activities for pupils. A typical primary school this year received £9,250.
One school benefiting is St Lawrence Primary School, Barton, near Preston. It received £8,420 this year – which went directly on sports and PE teaching.
The school already offers a range of after school clubs, and is now able to offer a wider range of sports clubs delivered by a variety of sports coaches as well as by their own teaching staff. Headteacher Julie Goodwin said: “We aim to provide a wide curriculum that allows our children to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary for adult life in the hope that our pupils will become confident, healthy, successful adults.
“We believe that PE and sport can significantly contribute to this. The funding we have received will enable us to extend our sports curriculum even further and give our children increased sporting opportunities.”
Speaking to the Evening Post, Mr Cameron said: “Sport is so important because it encourages children to be active, lead a healthy lifestyle, make friends and, of course, have fun. But quality school sport has benefits that spread right across the curriculum and beyond – it develops confidence and a sense of achievement.”
The Prime Minister said the extra cash was not an admission that the post-Olympic boom had not happened because of a lack of funding – and schools even having to sell off their playing fields to balance the books.
He said: “There is no school that has sold off its playing fields unless it was being closed. The few that have sold off their land have sold part of it to sports clubs and the like
“This money is going to be there every year and will help create a positive legacy from the Olympics.”
*See Tuesday’s business supplement for a full interview with the Prime Minister on the Lancashire economy