Havering’s youngsters given some hope over school sports after Michael Gove’s U-turn

HAVERING’S youngsters were given some sense of hope about the future of sports in schools after the Government made a drastic U-turn on the decision to scrap the borough’s School Sport Partnerships (SSP).

On Monday December 20, Education Secretary Michael Gove announced that he will still be scrapping the School Sports Partnership, but he pledged to give �47 million so that it can continue until the summer term 2011.

Michael Gove said: “I want competitive sport to be at the centre of a truly rounded education that all schools offer. “But this must be led by schools and parents, not by top down policies from Whitehall. It’s time to ensure what was best in school sport partnerships around the country is fully embedded and move forward to a system where schools and parents are delivering on sports with competition at the heart.”

His rethink means that the programme will still come to an end, but it won’t be until summer 2011 and after that he has pledged that �65 million will be paid to every secondary school to ensure that the benefits of the system still continue.

He said: “The Government is clear that at the heart of our ambition is a traditional belief that competitive sport, when taught well, brings out the best in everyone, be they the Olympian of tomorrow or the child who wants to keep fit and have fun learning new sports and games.”

As part of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, Michael Gove had planned to scrap the 162 million programme which sees Havering being given �500,000 for their sports.

The move sparked anger from sports teachers in the borough and the Havering branch of the National Union of Students (NUT).

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But Sports Development Manager at Coopers’ Company and Coborn School still argues that Michael Gove’s recent decision does not go far enough.

He said: “I don’t think it is a u turn, it is just a gesture to try to keep everyone quiet.

“He is just scratching the surface again because it is still not clear how it will be funded, but the only good thing to come out of this is that we all have jobs until summer but after then no one knows what is happening.”