Always a privilege to hear what school pupils have to say
IT IS always a great pleasure to visit schools in my constituency and I was delighted to be asked to meet and talk to some year six pupils, recently, about my role as a member of parliament and my experiences when in government.
This is a slightly younger age group than some of the discussion groups I attend at local schools, but it is very important for every MP to represent everyone and thus it is a privilege to have the chance to hear the views of pupils like these.
When I visit primary schools, it is clear that many of the pupils take an active part in a range of sports. Reports published in September and November this year have provided evidence that the first tranche of £150million funding for primary schools has given more children the chance to be physically active and to enjoy sport. The second tranche of three is being allocated to schools this November.
The PE and sport premium allows headteachers to recruit specialist PE teachers, buy new equipment, offer a wider range of sports or provide free after-school clubs.
Nine out of 10 schools have been able to improve the quality of their PE lessons. More than 90 per cent of primary schools say the children’s health, behaviour and lifestyles have got better as a result. On average, the schools minister said, a primary school with 250 pupils will receive about £9,000 a year to spend on sports provision.
Given the chance, most children enjoy learning to swim. However, the Amateur Swimming Association said at the beginning of November that more than 1,000 primary schools don’t provide swimming lessons. They added that nearly half of primary school children can’t swim a length unaided.
Learning to swim is not only an enjoyable pastime, it can, literally, be life-saving. Hopefully more primary schools can be encouraged to help children learn this skill.
Dominic Grieve MP for Beaconsfield