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Schools: Sports

Question for Department for Education

UIN 1993, tabled on 10 June 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to increase the female uptake of in-school sporting activities.

Answered on

17 June 2015

The Department for Education has committed to support primary school sport with £150 million a year, paid directly to head-teachers, until 2020. The previous government provided over £300 million of cross-government ring-fenced funding for academic years 2013/14 and 2014/15, to improve PE and sport.

The department is evaluating the impact of the funding and schools’ use of the premium through the independent research company, NatCen. The interim report will be published in the autumn 2015 and is available here:

The department has been working with Sport England to promote the hugely successful ‘This Girl Can’ campaign that has received worldwide media coverage and promotes the female participation in sport. The department has promoted the resources produced by the Association for Physical Education in order to help schools deliver fun and informative sessions to increase female uptake of sporting activities.

Improvement in the provision of sport in primary school is supported across government and external activity in a range of areas, from health to physical activity and from initial teacher training to encouraging pupils to try new sports.This includes Sport England’s £49 million programme funding satellite clubs to create new opportunities for young people to create lifelong sporting habits. Satellite clubs are based on school or college sites and create outposts of existing community sports clubs. By 2017, every secondary school in England will have been offered the opportunity to host a satellite club on its site, with the aim of creating 5,000 clubs. In total 11,000 girls have gone through satellite clubs.

The Sainsbury’s School Games is the government’s framework for competitive school sport. The school games are delivered through Department for Culture Media and Sport, who have overall policy leadership, and Department of Health. The games have been extremely successful in engaging girls. At level 3 (county level), 52% of the competitors are girls. This is the only youth programme that has a higher rate of female participation than male.