PM: All Children Should Play Competitive Sport

PM: All Children Should Play Competitive Sport

Competitive team sports will be made compulsory for primary school children under new government plans.

David Cameron says he wants to end the culture of prizes for all and to encourage pupils to develop their full potential.

The Prime Minister, who is under fire for scrapping a target for pupils to do two hours of sport per week, said the change will be included in the revised national curriculum.

School sport has been thrust into the spotlight by Great Britain's success at the London Olympics , amid concerns the momentum could be lost unless youngsters are offered more opportunities.

Critics have called for the Labour-imposed target to be reinstated, with London Mayor Boris Johnson saying he wanted to see pupils emulating the two hours a day he enjoyed at Eton.

But Mr Cameron dismissed the criticism, saying many schools were meeting the target "by doing things like Indian dance or whatever".

The most recent Government survey found more than 10,000 primary schools had fewer than half of their pupils competing against other schools three or more times a year and 1,950 had none at all.

A new draft PE curriculum, to be published in the autumn, will make it compulsory to take part in what Downing Street called "recognised and recognisable sports" such as football, hockey and netball.

It will also prescribe "team outdoor and adventurous activity".

Mr Cameron said: "The idea of an Olympics legacy has been built into the DNA of London 2012 from the very beginning.

"Now the London Olympics has been a great success, we need to use the inspiration of the Games to get children playing sport more regularly."

He went on: "I want to use the example of competitive sport at the Olympics to lead a revival of competitive sport in primary schools.

"We need to end the 'all must have prizes' culture and get children playing and enjoying competitive sports from a young age, linking them up with sports clubs so they can pursue their dreams."

Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg said: "If David Cameron supports primary school sport, why did he abolish Schools Sports Partnerships which allowed primary schools access to coaches, staff and facilities to do competitive sport?

"This announcement doesn't look like a thought-through plan. There are no details of how this will be supported or funded and no plan for secondary schools."

Earlier this week shadow Olympics minister Tessa Jowell called for a cross-party, 10-year plan for school sport.