UK Government confirms equal opportunities funding in school sport
The UK Government has committed £600m to boost equal opportunities in school sport.
The package was revealed on International Women’s Day (March 8) and follows on from the success of the Football Association’s #LetGirlsPlay campaign, which was supported by the Euro 2022-winning England Lionesses squad.
Schools across the UK that successfully deliver equal opportunities for girls and boys will be rewarded through the School Games Mark, which will assess parity of provision in PE (physical education) and extracurricular sport.
The Government is also asking schools to offer a minimum of two hours of curriculum PE time, which it will support through an upcoming refresh of the School Sport Action Plan. Non-ministerial department Ofsted will also publish a report into PE, which will inform future inspections, and expectations for high-quality PE and equal access to sports.
"We see it as our responsibility to open the doors for them to do so and this announcement makes that possible."
The Government has also committed £22m for two years of further funding for the School Games Organiser network, which supports 2.2 million participation opportunities for children. Up to £57m has been allocated for the opening school facilities programme, which aims to open up more school sport facilities outside of school hours, with a particular focus on the inclusion of girls in sport.
England women’s captain Leah Williamson said: “The success of the summer has inspired so many young girls to pursue their passion for football. We see it as our responsibility to open the doors for them to do so and this announcement makes that possible.
“This is the legacy that we want to live much longer than us as a team. On behalf of all the Lionesses players, we’d like to thank our teammate Lotte Wubben-Moy as a driving force behind this transformational change.
“We couldn’t be prouder to stand alongside her and we all look forward to seeing the impact this legacy creates.”