Tory wants new school league table shock
By Alex Stevenson
Jeremy Hunt identified an opportunity for new school league tables in his speech to the Conservative party conference in Manchester.
The shadow culture, media and sport secretary told delegates he wanted the Olympics to lead to increased sports participation in schools.
He attacked the government for not allocating any of the £9.3 billion Olympic budget to this end and called on Tories to “democratise the Olympics”.
“Let’s not just have them in the stadium in London for three weeks only. Let’s have them in every school, in every town, in every city and every county not just in 2012 but every year from then on,” Mr Hunt said.
He then proposed using the Olympics to “bring back school sports league tables”, with town, city and regional heats.
“Let’s use 2012 to bring competitive sport – and sporting values – within the grasp of all young people,” Mr Hunt added.
He accused Labour of being obsessed with health and safety and political correctness, claiming this was “destroying the foundations of what sport should be about”.
A school which cancelled sports day because the grass was too damp and another which banned conkers because of fears about nut allergies were cited as examples.
Most seriously, he cited the government’s insistence that those coming into contact with other people’s children undergo a one-off criminal records bureau check.
“You won’t stop child abuse by turning every parent into a suspected paedophile,” Mr Hunt said.
“But you will close down thousands and thousands of after school sports clubs and a Conservative government will not allow that to happen.”