Lionesses secure equal access to sports for girls
March 9, 2023
On International Women’s Day the Government set out new standards for equal access to sports, making it clear that girls and boys should be offered the same sports during PE and extracurricular time in schools.
Today’s package will help to boost equal opportunities in school sport both inside and outside the classroom, delivering on promises made by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Education Secretary Gillian Keegan to the Women’s Euro 22 winners the Lionesses.
This follows on from the success of the Football Association’s (FA) #LetGirlsPlay campaign which is working to change perceptions and make sure girls get the chance to play football within the school curriculum, as well as at breaktime, after school and at local clubs.
The campaign was launched by the Lionesses squad and the FA after the England Women’s team’s success at the Euro 22 tournament last year.
Schools that successfully deliver equal opportunities for girls and boys will be rewarded through the School Games Mark, which will assess parity of provision in PE and extracurricular sport.
Schools are also being asked to offer a minimum of two hours curriculum PE time and Government will provide support to schools on how to do this through the upcoming refresh of the School Sport Action Plan.
Alongside this work, Ofsted will be publishing a report into PE in the coming months, which will inform future inspections and set out what they believe is possible in terms of offering high quality PE and equal access to sports.
This is backed by a package of cross-government funding to help boost sport and activities both inside and outside school hours including the confirmation of over £600 million in funding over the next two academic years for the PE and Sport Premium and £22 million for the School Games Organisers (SGO) network.
England women’s captain, Leah Williamson, said:
The success of the summer has inspired so many young girls to pursue their passion for football.
We see it as our responsibility to open the doors for them to do so and this announcement makes that possible.
This is the legacy that we want to live much longer than us as a team. On behalf of all the Lionesses players, we’d like to thank our teammate Lotte Wubben-Moy as a driving force behind this transformational change.
We couldn’t be prouder to stand alongside her and we all look forward to seeing the impact this legacy creates.
The FA’s Chief Executive, Mark Bullingham, said:
The magic of last summer’s Euros victory can now live on with a legacy that has the ability to change the future of women’s football and positively impact society.
Equal access for girls is one of The FA’s strategic ambitions and for such progress to be made is a very proud day. We’re all extremely grateful to the players for using their voice to deliver change and would like to place on record our thanks to Government for the positive measures announced today.