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School Sport Partnerships were one strand of the previous Labour Government’s Physical Education, School Sport and Club Links (PESSCL) Strategy, launched in 2002. They were described in a 2011 Ofsted report as “a family of secondary, primary and special schools working together to increase the quality and quantity of PE and sports opportunities for young people.”[1]

In October 2010, the then Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, announced that the PESSCL Strategy was being discontinued and that, as a result, ring-fenced funding for School Sport Partnerships would end from March 2011. After some strong criticism, it was announced in December 2010 that funding for School Sport Partnerships would be extended to August 2011 and that additional money would be made available to encourage the take up of competitive sport. Both announcements also emphasised that, although funding from central Government was ending, schools could continue, if they wanted, to fund School Sport Partnerships themselves.

The decision to end funding for School Sport Partnerships was controversial at the time and has been the focus of much debate since. The final section of this briefing outlines the findings and conclusions of reports and surveys since 2011 that have contributed to this debate.

The Coalition Government subsequently introduced further changes to the funding of school sport, including the introduction of the PE and Sports Premium from 2013/14. Further information on these changes, and the policies of the Coalition Government and the current Government concerning school sport in general, is included in Library Briefing Paper 6836, School Sport.

[1]     Ofsted, School Sport Partnerships: A survey of good practice, June 2011, p4

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