Boost for equal access to sports.

Today on International Women’s Day (Wednesday 8 March) the Government is setting 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, 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 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.

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.

Harrogate and Knaresborough MP, Andrew Jones, said “I am pleased that on International Women’s day the Government is levelling the playing field for young women and girls in sport.

“Thanks to the success of the lionesses many more young women and girls have been inspired to take part in sport. I look forward to meeting with local headteachers and sports clubs to learn more about the impact of today’s announcement in our area.”

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 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.”