Sports Participation in Schools - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:06 am on 9th September 2021.

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Photo of Lord Watson of Invergowrie Lord Watson of Invergowrie Shadow Spokesperson (Education) 11:06 am, 9th September 2021

My Lords, I pay tribute to all our Olympians and Paralympians in Tokyo; not all returned with a medal—though of course many did—but all returned, I think I can safely say, with the enduring respect and admiration of those of us watching at home, in recognition of the clearly tremendous efforts they put into training over years. This is surely a carpe diem moment for the Government to ensure that participation levels in sports increase in all schools, but particularly primary schools. Habits gained at an early age are more likely to be carried into adult life. In June, the Secretary of State announced, in respect of the PE and sport premium for primary schools, to which the Minister has just referred, that underspends for the two pandemic years could be carried forward into this academic year but must be spent by the end of it. Why should such a limit be imposed when primary schools need additional resources to increase and maximise sports participation levels?