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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 October 2006, 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK
Schools 'devoting time to sport'
Pupils swimming
Schools were offering an average of 16 different sports, the report found
More pupils in England are taking part in at least two hours of school sport each week, according to a report.

A government review of 16,800 schools found 80% of pupils were doing two hours of sport - exceeding the government's target of 75%.

Schools offered a greater variety of sports and more competitive sports.

Meanwhile, an Ofsted review of the school sport partnership programme found it was helping to raise participation and ability in sport.

At the time of the survey review, 80% of schools in England were within a school sport partnership, which link schools and sports clubs, compared with 62% in 2003/04.

Gifted and talented

All schools in England are now in a school sport partnership.

The report found schools were offering an average of 16 different sports.

Competitive sports were also on the rise with almost three-quarters of pupils taking part in intra-school sports competitions.

The number of pupils identified as being gifted and talented in sport had also increased to 189,000, four times more than in 2003/04.

Education Secretary Alan Johnson said it was a "massive achievement".

Raising participation

He said the aim now was to raise participation levels to at least 85% by 2008 and offer all children four hours of sport a week by 2010.

He added: "Our immediate challenges for the future include working with school sport partnerships to see how we can reach those pupils who think sport is not for them."

Ofsted's review of 43 school sport partnership programmes found the scheme was helping to motivate disaffected pupils to become involved in sport.

However, it said more support was needed for the programme in secondary schools.




SEE ALSO
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07 Jul 05 |  Education
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