School sports funding u-turn announcement due

THE government has made a drastic U-turn on slashing school sports funding following a massive outcry from campaigners and opposition politicians around the country.

More than 35, 000 pupils in the borough were set to lose out after the coalition government announced plans to axe the School Sports Partnership programme (SSP), calling it “a complete failure”.

The �162million national programme, aimed at raising participation in school-led sports, helped increase the number of youngsters taking part in three hours of school sports from 48 per cent of 56 per cent in the borough.

However, education secretary Michael Gove is expected to announce today that will the scheme will be saved by setting aside �70million.

Dozens of pupils, teachers and parents from the borough took part in a national demonstration against the move at the beginning of the month, and over 7,000 people from Barking and Dagenham signed a nationwide petition to save the scheme.

Over 70 leading British athletes urged prime minister David Cameron not to scrap the scheme, while 60 headteachers described the plans to scrap the scheme as “ignorant” and “destructive” in an open letter to Mr Gove.

Today it is expected the government will spare �70million of the �162,000 will be saved