📈 The game-changing decision to provide girls with equal access to football in schools as part of an all-sports pledge meets one of our key strategic objectives. It will significantly increase participation across the nation and build on the inspiration of England’s triumph at the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022.
It is a result of the open letter to former prime ministerial contenders Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss signed by all 23 players in the England EURO winning squad days after the historic win at Wembley Stadium on 31 July 2022.
The letter voiced their collective belief on how school sport should change and how equal access should be created for every schoolgirl. Currently, only 67 per cent of all schools and 41 per cent of secondary schools offer football equally to girls in PE lessons, and only 46 per cent of schools provide the same extracurricular opportunities as boys.
As part of the announcement, the government will make it clear to schools that they are expected to deliver at least two hours of PE per week and ensure that girls have equal access to all school sports, including football.
💷 The change is backed by a multi-million-pound investment in school sport and afterschool activities – including over £600 million in funding over the next two academic years for the PE and Sport Premium and £22 million for the School Games Organisers network.
The government has also committed to strengthening its guidance to schools on how to spend this funding, including new guidelines on equal access.
🎙 Mark Bullingham, the FA’s chief executive, mentioned: “The magic of last summer’s EUROs victory can now live on with a legacy that has the ability to change the future of women’s football and positively impact society.”
🗣 Baroness Sue Campbell, the FA’s director of women’s football, stated: “As soon as the final whistle was blown at Wembley on 31 July 2022, the players turned their attention to what they wanted their legacy from the tournament to be and what’s been announced today is as important as anything that was achieved on the pitch in the summer.”
🎙 Leah Williamson, England women’s captain, said: “The success of the summer has inspired so many young girls to pursue their passion for football. We see it as our responsibility to open the doors for them to do so and this announcement makes that possible. This is the legacy that we want to live much longer than us as a team.”
When the Lionesses won the Euro 22, they said that the real trophy and their legacy would come in the following years with an increase in girls’ participation in football. Now it looks like that will become a reality.