X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Coffee House

Labour plays a sensible game on school sport

13 August 2012

4:07 PM

13 August 2012

4:07 PM

It would be wrong to say that David Cameron has had a bad Olympics. After all, the Games went extremely well, both in terms of logistics and Britain’s wonderful medal haul. The Prime Minister is not responsible for the bouncy mood of the country at the moment, but he’s also not having to answer aggressive questions from the media about an awful security breach, total gridlock in central London or worse.

But the Prime Minister did rather let himself down by being drawn into the inevitable debate about sports provision in the state education sector during the Games. That discussion started so early into Britain’s rise up the medal table that at the time it was impossible to assess whether state-educated athletes were pulling their weight. Even as the Games drew to a close, the Prime Minister and Education Secretary Michael Gove would have been wise to resist the probably rather satisfying attacks on the teaching unions and comments about ‘sort of Indian dancing‘. The latter was presumably an attempt by the Prime Minister to appear on the side of common sense, but instead it led to him being roundly mocked. There was even a rather mysterious bout of bhangra in the closing ceremony last night, which conspiracy theorists (and most of the lobby) suspected had been inserted last minute as a gibe at Cameron.

This has left rather a nice gap for Labour to step into. By calling for a cross-party plan on competitive sports in schools, Ed Miliband and Tessa Jowell managed to suggest that they were above party politics on this issue. Today Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg has made sensible noises about devolving power to local communities so they can decide whether their local free school or academy is under performing in its sports provision. Twigg also pointed out that this weekend’s announcement that competitive team sports will be made compulsory for all primary-age children does not apply to academies and free schools, and said Labour would amend funding rules to ensure that it did. Whether or not you agree with that depends on whether you think the government should be dictating the curriculum to schools (and Fraser has looked at this in more detail here). But by sticking to policy details rather than slightly dodgy anecdotes about dancing, Miliband’s party has gained the upper hand.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close