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The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Tessa Jowell): Today, I am pleased to announce the allocation of Government funding for sport through my Department for the next three financial years.
An allocation has been made within the settlement for other sport initiatives, including a possible National Sports Foundation. Exactly how this funding is to be divided has yet to be determined but in general terms it will be used to support development in terms of volunteering, participation, facilities and the identification and nurture of talented athletes. Lord Carter is to publish his report in February.
This settlement represents a good result for sport. Overall, it will release over £431million for sport between 200506 and 200708 from the Exchequer, and will see annual funding rise 31 per cent. from some
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£118 million in 200405 to over £155 million in 200708. This will enable us both to strengthen the grass roots of sport, with a renewed emphasis on school and community sport, while also enabling us to identify and nurture a new generation of sporting champions as we build up to the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the possibility of a London Olympics in 2012.
The Under-Secretary of State for Education and Skills, my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, Southgate (Mr. Twigg), has also made a statement today, on behalf of the Prime Minister and me, announcing another great boost for school sport.
Of the £431 million announced for sport in this statement, approximately £133.5 million will be used to support the aims and objectives set out in the statement made by the Under-Secretary of State for Education and Skills.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Ivor Caplin): I am announcing today that we will shortly begin mobilising approximately 900 reservists to replace the existing reservists serving in support of operations in Iraq. These reservists will be beginning their deployments from April 2005 onwards.
We currently have some 750 Army reservists carrying out a range of activities including medical support, force protection duties and providing individual reinforcements to units. We anticipate that most of these tasks will continue, but the forthcoming replacement of the regular field hospital with one staffed by reservists, along with the number of individual reinforcements required by regular units will slightly increase the total reserves requirement. These changes mean that the number of Army reservists in theatre will be about 1,000 in May 2005, before reducing over the following months.
We aim to issue the call-out notices in phases following this announcement and plan on giving reserve personnel 28 days' notice of call-up (a minimum of 21 days). Mobilisation will be followed by a period of individual, pre-deployment and collective training, integration into receiving units, and then a short period of pre-deployment leave. The majority of those called-out can expect a deployed tour of six months and a total period of mobilisation, including post-tour leave, of about nine months, though for a few it may be slightly longer.
Between now and March we aim to identify those reservists who are believed to be fit and available for deployment. As is customary, to ensure that we successfully mobilise the required number, we will need to issue a greater number of call-out notices than the actual requirement.
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education and Skills (Mr. Stephen Twigg): The Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and I are today announcing another boost for school sport.
In 2002 the Government launched the first ever comprehensive national physical education (PE), school sport and club links strategy with an investment of £459 million for delivery between 2003 and 2006. The aima public service agreement (PSA) target shared by the Departments for Education and Skills and for Culture, Media and Sportis to:
Enhance the take up of sporting opportunities by five to 16 year olds by increasing the percentage of school children who spend a minimum of two hours each week on high quality PE and school sport, within and beyond the curriculum, from 25 per cent. in 2002 to 75 per cent. by 2006 and to 85 per cent. by 2008, and to at least 75 per cent. in each school sport partnership by 2008.
Spearheading action is the creation of a national network of at least 400 specialist sports colleges and school sport partnerships. There are now 291 collegesincluding four academies with a sports focus and 54 per cent. of schools in England are within one of the 313 school sport partnerships, benefiting 3.5 million pupils in over 12,000 schools. All schools will be within a school sport partnership by 2006.
We are well on the way to delivering the PSA target. The 200304 survey of school sport partnerships found that 62 per cent. of pupils were spending two hours in a typical week on high quality PE and school sport. It also showed a 16 percentage point difference in take up of the two hour entitlement between pupils in the longest established partnerships and those newer to the programme. The results of the survey were published on 29 April and copies of the report"The Impact of School Sport Partnerships"are available in the Libraries of both Houses and at www.teachernet.gov._uk/pe.
This is good progress, but we want to do more. By 2010 our ambition is for all children to be offered at least four hours of sport every week, comprising at least two hours high quality PE and sport at school and the opportunity for at least a further two to three hours beyond the school day (delivered by a range of school, community and club providers). A further £519 million has been allocatedcombined funding from the Departments for Education and Skills and for Culture, Media and Sportto continue work on the national strategy from 200607 to 200708 to take us towards this ambition. That means in the five years up to 2008, including £686 million of dedicated lottery funding, Government investment in PE and school sport will have totalled over £l.5 billion.
Many of our 2012 Olympic and Paralympic medal winners are at school today. We are determined to make the pathway from playground to podium a reality for
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these young people. As part of the additional investment, new competition managers will be put in place to work with school sport partnerships. These managers will strengthen the ladder of sporting opportunity by creating a competition structure across all ages, ranging from school based festivals to national competitions, this will give all children the chance to play competitive sportwhatever their age or ability. Our ultimate aim is to have one in each of our school sport partnerships by 2010.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport is today announcing the allocation of Government funding for sport over the next three financial years. This money, together with the measures we have announced today, represents the best ever deal for sport in schools and will help us to achieve our goal of becoming a nation of sporting excellence.
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