Norwich SSP_120The Norwich School Sport Partnership (SSP) was launched in 2000 as part of the then Labour governments PE, School Sport and Club Links (PESSCL) strategy. The SSP was initially based at Earlham High School (A Specialist Sports College) which later became City Academy Norwich.

The aim of SSPs was to bring together families of schools to work collectively to ensure that all young people received 2 hours of high quality PE,  as well as a range of school sport opportunities within and outside of the curriculum.

In addition SSPs were challenged to develop community links with local sports clubs in order to ensure that young people continued to participate in sport outside of school.

Between 2000-10 the SSP and the schools it worked with enjoyed success providing young people with a range of exciting new opportunities.

In 2010, it was announced that as part of the new Coalition Governments (Con/Lib) spending review the funding for SSPs would be withdrawn and the future for school sport looked bleak.

Worried about the impact that this decision would have on the young people of Norwich, the SSP team rallied the schools that it worked with to find a solution. The team consulted with the schools to see which of the services that it had provided they valued the most and which other services they felt would benefit their pupils. Based on this information, the SSP developed a membership package which enabled it to continue to provide a varied package of opportunities for young people across the City. Member schools pay an annual membership fee to be part of the SSP and receive a package of opportunities including; staff CPD, a wider range of competitions, festivals, coaching and free transport to all SSP events.

Following a national campaign led by young people, elite athletes, parents and school staff the government made a partial u-turn on the complete cut of funding for school sport and announced the launch of the School Games programme. The Games focused on encouraging more young people to take part in competitive school sport.

In 2013 David Cameron announced that the government would be providing additional ring fenced “Sports Premium” funding to Primary Schools headteachers to improve the quality of the PE and sport activities they offer their pupils. Many schools in Norwich use a proportion of their Sports Premium funding to fund their annual membership of the SSP. In February 2014 it was announced that the Sports Premium funding would continue until 2020.