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Schools Sports Partnerships – Commons Debates



November 30th 2010

“It is clear” said North Thanet/Bay MP Roger Gale “that there is some fairly murky bathwater that needs to be disposed of and that there is also a very healthy baby that must be protected”.
Intervening in the Commons debate on the future of school sports the MP said to the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, that
“My Right Honourable friend is aware that I represent some of the areas of the highest social deprivation in the Country.  Local primary schools have benefitted hugely from sports festivals.” And he asked “will the primary school clusters have the money and the power to together employ sports organisers so that these festivals can continue”?
Replying, the Secretary of State indicated that this would indeed be the case.
Until  today it has not been clear  whether or not the individual schools will have sufficient money to, working together, buy in the help that they need to maintain the momentum.
Speaking after the debate, Roger Gale said:
“The School Sports Partnerships have created layers of organisation and bureaucracy that, in the present financial circumstances, we cannot sustain.  What is important is that young people – and particularly primary school children – continue to have the opportunity to participate in active sport and to enjoy inter-school festivals.  Those events take time and expertise to organise that many individual schools do not have – so it is important that they retain the right and the resources to engage the services of locally dedicated sports organisers to back up the school clusters and create the events that are so important. I take some comfort from Michael Gove`s response and we shall monitor the situation to make sure that the baby is not thrown out with the bath water”.

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