PUPILS from schools across the area have united against a Government proposal to cut funding for a sports partnership scheme in the district.
Education Secretary Michael Gove announced all funding for School Sports Partnerships could be pulled, including the £222,500 a year for Broxtowe’s project.
The scheme allows teachers to dedicate more time and expertise to sport, introducing new activities and improving pupils’ health.
Children at schools in Eastwood and Kimberley joined others nationwide to sign a petition with over half a million signatures on, which was handed to central Government opposing the plans.
Since the campaign, Mr Gove has partially backed down and has promised to salvage over £47m to ensure the scheme survives until the summer. He said he will then try and put £65m aside for the two following years.
Andrea Kilbane, development manager for the Broxtowe partnership, said: “It seems like a lot of money, but £65m over two years is a lot less than what the programme would normally get.
“We are in the dark at the moment and don’t know exactly what this will mean for Broxtowe. We allocated £106,000 of our total to secondary schools and I would guess that would half.
“A lot of things will suffer. We won’t be able to spend the same amount of money on training volunteer teachers and competitions.
“The hours of sporting activities is bound to drop.”
Anthony Harrison, the headteacher at Eastwood’s Priory Roman Catholic School, said: “There’s a lot of opportunities for children that would cease to exist.
“We have cricket at school and niche opportunities such as fencing that children would not be able to take part in. They also wouldn’t be able to excel in things like tennis.
“It’s the help within the curriculum that we would most miss. Without that there will be a lot of schools in the area that would suffer.
“The organisation does all sorts for the school including training staff.”
A total of £162m per year currently funds a network of 450 partnerships nationwide, which involve nearly 22,000 people working as school sports co-ordinators, coaches and primary link teachers.
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