Victory on cuts to PE lessons

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A ROW over funding cuts for school PE lessons has been resolved.

There was outcry last month when parents of children at Murray’s Road School were informed that, because of government cuts, the £75 cost of taking the pupils by bus to the National Sports Centre for their PE lessons would not be met from Easter to the October half-term.

Youngsters at Murray’s Road School are taken each week to the NSC for their PE lessons as their school lacks suitable facilities, including a playing field.

Parents and pupils launched a petition – and the story made front page of the Manx Independent.

In the House of Keys this week, Brenda Cannell (Douglas East) asked Education Minister Eddie Teare whether he would reconsider the decision.

And Mr Teare revealed that issue had now been resolved.

He said: ‘The department looked again at the issue and it resolved it within two working days.

‘A workable solution had been suggested using facilities at the other local school sites. However, it did not prove possible at one school to make suitable arrangements in the time available and also without considerable disruption to other users.

‘The department worked with the school to identify ways of reducing expenditure. Also, the shortfall of funding is 30 per cent less than had originally been indicated.

‘It is now therefore possible for the school to support transport arrangements and hall hire at the NSC for the financial year.’

Mr Teare thanked the other MHK for Douglas East, Chris Robertshaw, for bringing the matter to his attention in a ‘timely manner’.

Mrs Cannell replied: ‘These children have been unable to get access to the NSC for physical exercise and PE since their return to school at Easter. Does that not concern him that it should have happened at all? Does it expose a situation of officers not communicating adequately with the schools in the first place?’

She asked what would happen in future years but Mr Teare said he could not commit his successor to any promises.

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