The 519m worth of funding will be used to build sports facilities and complete the network of 400 specialist sports colleges and school sport partnerships, as well as bringing new coaching expertise into schools. It is expected to increase children's access to PE and sports from two to four hours a week by 2010.
Speaking at the launch at Waverley School in Southwark, London, Prime Minister Tony Blair said, 'This investment will give today's children new opportunities to take part in sport - inside and outside the school gate and before, during and after the school day.'
In 2002 the Government set targets to increase the proportion of children who spend a minimum of two hours a week on PE and school sport from 25 per cent in 2002 to 75 per cent in 2006. A sum of 459m was allocated to deliver the Government's school sports strategy.
The first survey of 6,500 school sport partnerships - where local primary and secondary schools work together to share facilities and jointly run activities - revealed that 62 per cent of pupils were having two hours of sport or PE a week.
Anne Longfield, chief executive of 4Children, said, 'The success of the School Sports Partnership demonstrates how local schools are already working in partnership, working together to pool resources and offer joint services.' For more information see www.teachernet.gov.uk/pe.