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First projects completed under Sport England’s £18m Primary Spaces fund

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More than 600 primary schools in England have now received grants from Sport England’s £18m Primary Spaces fund to improve their outdoor sports facilities.

Out of the 600, around 100 schools have already completed projects to improve their PE and play offering.

The funding for the new facilities was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this year to complement the work of the Primary PE & Sport Premium.

The Primary Spaces fund forms part of the government's strategy to invest and improve sport provision at state schools, which have suffered from public budget cuts over the past six years.

A recent report by Ofsted discovered “unacceptable discrepancies" in the proportion of privately educated people excelling at top-level sport compared to those who have attended state schools in the UK.

Last year, a report by independent think tank The Smith Institute revealed that a third (33.7 per cent) of primary school teachers said there had been a decrease in sporting participation since 2011.

Speaking during the London 2012 Olympics, then British Olympic Association chair Lord Moynihan called for a “complete overhaul” of UK school sport.

Sport England director of community sport, Mike Diaper, said: “When launching this fund, we knew there were currently many primary schools that had little or no suitable outdoor space for PE or sport, making it difficult for teachers to deliver exciting and engaging lessons.

"That is why this funding is so important because it gives young people the right places to play sport and be physically active which is crucial to their development.

“By giving children the space to take part in PE and play sport from an early age, we can help them establish a lifelong sporting habit that will also help them lead to living healthy lifestyles.”

• Sport England has run the Primary Spaces fund in partnership with the Department for Education, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Health, and with the support of the Association for Physical Education, the Youth Sport Trust and the County Sports Partnership Network, ensuring joined up working across Government and the sport and physical activity sector.

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More than 600 primary schools in England have now received grants from Sport England’s £18m Primary Spaces fund to improve their outdoor sports facilities.
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