By the numbers - Olympic Games

27th July 2012 at 01:00

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

Now: 7,500

2015: 13,500.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today