Keep the flame alive: Coalition has squandered Olympic Legacy, say Stephen Twigg and Harriet Harman

The Telegraph has an article from Stephen Twigg and Harriet Harman claiming that the government has squandered the Olympic legacy. This is an extract..

A year on, the worry is that the Government has failed to keep the flame alive. While David Cameron promised that the Olympics would ‘inspire a generation’, the evidence on the ground is that the legacy is under threat.

Take school sport. In 2010 Labour had a system in place for ensuring that school pupils got access to at least 2 hours of sport and physical exercise a week. Our ‘School Sports Partnerships’ allowed schools to work together to share equipment, teachers and playing fields.

But since David Cameron scrapped it, two thirds of school sport staff report that there has been a decrease in pupils doing sport.

When Labour left office, there was a requirement that pupils had access to at least 2 hours of sport. Now teachers say fewer than half of their school children get this amount of PE – surely a basic minimum.

It is not for lack of enthusiasm. A majority of young people say they were inspired by the Olympics to do more sport and two in five feel they don’t get enough sport at school.

We know how important regular sport is not just for staying healthy and finding the Olympic stars of the future, it improves academic results too.

…to mark the one year anniversary of the games, Labour is calling for a clear action plan to get the legacy back on track.

The minimum two hour target for PE in schools should be reinstated, which is supported by 97 per cent of school sport staff.

We want to ensure that all schools, including academies and free schools have a suitable amount of outdoor space for sport.

We would improve PE teaching too, ensuring that sports is a high priority in teacher training, and ensuring there is a PE subject coordinator in every primary school and a qualified PE teacher in every secondary school.

If David Cameron is serious about the legacy, he needs to take real action – unfortunately, the independent Education Select Committee warned last week that his approach to school sport is little more than a “gimmick”. Instead, we need a 10 year strategy for community and school sport.

This Government had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to inspire a generation after the success of London 2012. But the sad truth is they are squandering the Olympic legacy.

Stephen Twigg is Labour’s shadow Education secretary and Harriet Harman is Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

More at:  Keep the flame alive: Coalition has squandered Olympic Legacy, say Stephen Twigg and Harriet Harman

See also: Pupils taught two hours of PE a week ‘halves under Coalition government’

Are @StephenTwigg and @HarrietHarman right on this? Do you support the initiative they are proposing and think they are viable options? Was PE really that much better  under Labour or are they looking back through rose-tinted specs?

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Categories: Health.


  1. Pamelafeeney75L

    SchoolsImprove Thought it might be David Cameron’s fault. (Olympics, keep the flame alive). Labour did nothing wrong when their were

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