David Cameron has defended his decision to scrap targets for school sports such as archery, as well as selling off all the bows and arrows, saying that expecting state school children to hit targets with an arrow rather than stack shelves in Tescos would be just a ‘box-ticking exercise’.
He also pledged to bring in further reforms to improve the provision of competitive sports in state schools by scrapping all school sports equipment such as footballs and cricket bats and selling off any bits of grass they could use as a playing field.
The prime minister said the key to the regeneration of sport was the return of more traditional competitive activities in state schools such as jumping through hoops to find a job or learning to sink or swim.
In a radio interview, Mr Cameron also went on to explain that allowing state school children to become good at sports may only create a situation where they think they can do something better than children whose parents are rich enough to afford a private education, which would only bring disappointment in the long-run:
We need a big cultural change for our poorer children – away from useless sports like trying to hit targets or cross finishing lines – in favour of more competitive sports such as ducking and diving and running around in circles trying to make ends meet, I think that is what really matters.
Questioned over why the education department had removed the requirement, introduced by Labour, for two hours of compulsory physical education every week in schools, Mr Cameron told LBC radio:
Every school has to deliver sport – but clearly if your parents are not able to afford a private education like mine, being able to hit a target with an arrow isn’t going to help you much when you’re stacking shelves in Tescos. What the last government did – which is not right – is if you just sit there in Whitehall and give targets for children to hit with a bow and arrow or set up a lot of finishing lines for them to cross but don’t actually do anything to teach them how to stack shelves or flip burgers, you are not really solving the problem.
The announcements come on top of other measures such as scrapping speed limits on roads in order to encourage safer driving, improving healthcare by removing the need for privately-run hospitals to cure sick patients and disposing of all automatic targeting systems from Trident nuclear missiles to allow more exact delivery of the weapons to foreigners.
In a related development, the government has announced it is to scrap all runways at airports, saying they are a bureaucratic irrelevance introduced by the previous Labour government which only discouraged airlines from landing their planes wherever they want.
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