Department for Education announce £10.1 million investment in school sport

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School Sport ()

The Department for Education has confirmed that £10.1 million of funding will be invested into schools across England this academic year, to help school sports and swimming facilities to be opened outside of school hours.

This new funding will provide young people the chance to be active at a time when activity levels have been dropping due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A focus for the additional investment will be long-term sustainability and increasing inclusivity. The funding will be distributed through Sport England and Active Partnerships.

Responding to the announcement, Alliance CEO Lisa Wainwright said: “This marks an incredible success following the extensive work and collective commitment of so many in the sector to make children’s activity a priority.

"Our friends at Sport England, AfPE, ukactive, YST and Active Partnerships have joined us in highlighting the need for a focus to be put on school sport and for every child to have the right to be active.

"There have been sustained calls for the unlocking of school facilities that often sit dormant and unused despite being in the heart of many towns and villages. Having these facilities open and ready-to-use will benefit communities across the country.

"We are also pleased to see a real emphasis placed on accessibility and sustainability. Research has shown how the last year has already had a disproportionate impact on groups already less likely to be active, so to commit to providing these opportunities and to raising inclusivity is a real positive step.

"As we look to build back better as a nation over the next few months, the process of unlocking will be a crucial opportunity for the sector, and government, to welcome back millions of participants in a COVID secure way.

"This money will provide facilities the head start they need to begin that process so that our children and young people can start to feel the benefits of physical activity once again.

"We hope that this is the start of using facilities and school sport in a more targeted way for our young people and we look forward to hearing further news about funding for the School Sport Action Plan in the near future.”

You can read the full statement from the Department for Education here.