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- 08 July 2014 00:00
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Edward Timpson, the Minister for Children and Families, says that the collaborative approach that the Government and industry leaders are taking is making a real difference in improving the delivery of PE and school sport across the country.
Timpson, the Minister responsible for PE and school sport in Government, now chairs the cross-ministerial working group that was recently set up to look in-depth at the PE and school sport sector.
The group comprises of a number of Government departments and sector leaders such as the Association for Physical Education (afPE), Sport England and Youth Sport Trust (YST), who all support the delivery of physical education and sport in schools and in the wider community.
Timpson says this cross-Government collaboration in partnership with the likes of afPE has helped ensure for the first time the entire sector is now working towards the same objectives.
"Sport affects so many aspects to growing up including health, competition, confidence and character,” Timpson, who is speaking at the afPE National Conference 2014, told Community Sport Network.
"Something that affects so many aspects to growing up really does need to have the health, education and culture departments all working together on it.
"That is why we set up the cross-ministerial working group last year; so that the three different departments are all working together for the first time on physical education and school sport.
"It is a vital collaboration at the heart of Government.
"I chair the group and we meet together every month, where we bring together colleagues from across Government and real experts from the physical education and school sport sector – including the Association for Physical Education, Sport England, the Youth Sport Trust and others.”
"Having this cross-ministerial working group means that we are all working towards the same objectives together.
"It also means we have all bought into the strong evidence that suggests if you can capture children early and provide them with the chance to try out a whole range of sporting and physical activities; you have got a stronger chance of keeping it with them into adulthood.”
The Minister for Children and Families is also delighted with the impact that the Primary PE and Sport Premium following the huge investment in the initiative from Government.
"We have committed over £450 million to the Primary PE and Sport Premium over three years up to 2016.
"The Prime Minister has also made a personal commitment that as long as he is Prime Minister, he will continue the Premium funding moving forwards which is fantastic.
"The great thing about the Premium is that it goes directly to schools and it is up to schools to work out how to spend it.
"Whether it is bringing in specialist physical education and sports experts to work alongside staff, buying new equipment, investing in facilities, using that money for continuous professional development or using it for staff training - we’ve given real discretion over how it’s used.
"Across the country, with the help of organisations such as afPE and others, we’re seeing some schools taking some really imaginative approaches which is fantastic.
"What we are also seeing through the Premium is a real culture change in many of our primary schools whereby they are becoming more aware of the wider benefits of having physical education and sport at the heart of school life.”
To read the full interview with Edward Timpson, Click Here