Ready, steady, go

Rachel Cooke (Radio, 5 March) painted a wholly inaccurate picture of the level of commitment the government has to improve school sport. This, in fact, has been one of the biggest success stories in the past few years. In 2002, only 25 per cent of pupils were doing two hours of high-quality school sport a week. The figure now stands at 80 per cent, beating our target of 75 per cent for 2006.

Our ambition is to have all pupils doing four hours a week by 2010, through a combination of the curriculum and sport beyond the school gate.

We have revived competitive sport in schools, with 37 per cent of pupils competing in inter-school matches, up 12 per cent from 2004. Roger Black's Olympic Challenge on Radio 4, to which Cooke referred, highlighted the positive impact sport can have on children's lives. That is why we have invested a record £1.5bn into school sport in the five years to 2008.

Rt Hon Richard Caborn
Minister for sport
Rt Hon Jim Knight
Minister for schools
London SW1

This article first appeared in the 19 March 2007 issue of the New Statesman, Trident: Why Brown went to war with Labour