A year after the coalition announced it was slashing £162 million of annual sport funding comes the first survey on the impact it has had.
The survey by the Youth Sports Trust showed that, despite an about-turn in which some funding was restored, four out of six schools are still unclear what sport provision they will be able to offer, with many predicting a reduction.
It also revealed that just 55 per cent of ‘hub’ schools which previously coordinated school sport in their area have retained their network of support to local schools.
The YST found that many of these are working with far fewer staff and resources than previously, but a further 40 per cent told the YST that more than a month into the new school year they are still unclear about what level of staffing and funding they will provide.
The uncertainty means that pupils are almost certainly facing a reduction in school sport in the coming year, a position supported by school sport providers across England who revealed grave concerns about the impact of the funding cuts and fears that children will inevitably lose opportunities to take part in sport.
It comes as culture secretary Jeremy Hunt prepares to launch the flagship school sport initiative, the School Games which are intended to revitalise competitive sport, but the YST research raises serious questions about the credibility of the policy and access to sport, particularly for primary age children.