British medal winners at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
State educated 63%
Privately educated 37%
The Olympics begin today, with 542 athletes due to represent Team GB over the next two weeks. But Prime Minister David Cameron has raised concerns that too many of the country's top athletes have been privately educated.
In a recent speech at Loughborough University, the headquarters of Team GB, he talked about the legacy of the Olympics and his hope that it would encourage young people to participate in sport.
He said that independent schools, which educate 7 per cent of the population, produce more than their fair share of medal winners. It is estimated that between one-fifth and one-third of Team GB attended independent schools.
In January this year, the government pledged #163;1 billion for youth sport. It has also launched the School Games, which more than half of schools in England have signed up to.
Education secretary Michael Gove said in 2010 that the Department for Education would no longer fund the #163;162 million School Sport Partnerships. But following protests from teachers and athletes, he announced #163;112 million of funding for school sport until 2013.
Expected growth in numbers of after-school sports clubs following #163;1bn investment in youth sport