Merton schools are well above the national average for government sports targets according to survey results released this month.
Results from the 2007/08 national School Sport Survey show Merton is the top borough in London and second in the country for schools offering the most competitive sporting opportunities for pupils.
Schools in Merton also have the highest percentage of pupils participating in one or more community sports, dance or multi-skill clubs with links to the school during the last academic year.
Merton schools were well above the government target, exceeding national averages in all key performance areas for sports and physical education, which focus on offering students:
· two hours of high quality PE and school sport
· competitive experiences
· club links
· leadership and volunteering opportunities.
The results also show 92% of pupils in Merton take part in at least two hours of high quality physical education and sport in school compared with the government target for 2007/08 of 85%.
These strong improvements come as a result of initiatives started by the Merton School Sports Partnership (MSSP). The aim of the partnership is to get more five to 16 year olds taking part in high quality physical education and school sport.
Councillor Debbie Shears, cabinet member for children’s services, says: “Ensuring that our schools continue to offer quality sporting opportunities to pupils is one of the ways that we can help our young people develop good habits and attitudes towards maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.
“School is the perfect environment to teach children about the benefits and enjoyment of sport and exercise and these results reinforce what we’ve been saying for a long time now. Merton schools are thriving and providing high quality educational, sporting and developmental experiences for our children.
“As a borough we can all rightly be proud that our schools are now above average in all government school sports targets, have achieved top improvements in the country for GCSE results and offer the most competitive sporting opportunities in London.
“This is a massive achievement and I want to extend my congratulations to all teachers, pupils, parents and community partners for their hard work and support.
“It’s amazing what we can achieve when we all come together and show belief in our children, young people and schools.”