Sporting chance

IF Michael Gove had any comprehension about the importance of school sport, and its wider benefits, he would not have been forced to make a humiliating U-turn in the House of Commons yesterday.

Dogmatically, the Education Secretary believed that the School Sports Partnership was flawed because the vast bulk of its budget went on bureaucracy rather than PE lessons for schools.

He was wrong. This initiative actually funds a network of sports teachers and co-ordinators who are fully trained. They can also devote their time fully to PE rather than mainstream teachers having to teach 'games' as an additional responsibility and, in many cases, without having the necessary qualifications.

Furthermore, the original decision to cut funding made a mockery of the Government's attempts to encourage, and champion, community sport on the back of the 2012 Olympics.

At least, Mr Gove has seen sense and reappraised his policy. But it would not have come to this if he had fully explored the issue in the first place – rather than trying to use 'bureaucracy' as an excuse to mask his obvious dislike of sport.