To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps he is taking to increase sports facilities within existing schools.
The Government are investing significant funding to enhance school sports facilities across England. The New Opportunities for PE and Sport Programme is providing £581.25 million in England (£25 million of which has gone towards the Space for Sport and the Arts programme) and schools from all local education authority areas are benefiting. The Space for Sport and the Arts Programme is providing £130 million to support projects at primary schools in 65 target areas. The schools benefiting from these schemes are required to open up and share their new facilities with other schools and their local community. In addition, the Sporting Playgrounds Programme is providing £10 million to enhance primary school playgrounds to increase physical activity and sport in 27 target areas.
This funding is on top of the Department for Education and Skills capital investment in school buildings and facilities, which has grown from under £700 million in 1996–97 to £3.8 billion in 2003–04, and will rise to £5.1 billion in 2005–06. The bulk of this investment is allocated to schools and local authorities on a formulaic basis, and is available for improving school sports facilities where these are prioritised in local asset management plans.
From 2005–06, the Government are also introducing Building Schools for the Future, which aims to rebuild and renew all secondary schools, (including their sports facilities) within 10 to 15 years, subject to future spending decisions.