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- Education Professionals
Cuts put school sport in crisis
As London prepares to host the Olympic Games this summer, government cuts mean that many school children are now doing less sport than before the UK won the Olympic bid, despite beliefs that the Olympics would give competitive sport in schools a huge boost.
One of the education secretary, Michael Gove's, most unpopular recent acts was to abolish the national network of school sport partnerships. These saw groups of schools working together to increase the quality and range of sport on offer to children. An outcry from teachers and athletes forced the education secretary to keep the scheme going until last summer. In some parts of the country, schools have pooled resources to sustain these partnerships, however many schools are now simply feeling the loss.
Competitions are being cancelled. After-school clubs are being scrapped. PE teachers are receiving less training and it is the government's austerity measures that are being blamed. It is a deeply sensitive subject for the government. School sport matters, one in five children leaves primary school obese and exercise is necessary for health and improves behaviour and attention.
The Olympic Games coming to London this year should be inspiring a burst of creativity and enthusiasm for sport in Britain's schools. However, while ministers boast about an Olympic legacy, the risk is that sport in schools is declining so fast that a future generation of potential Olympians will be hindered.