06/11/2003

Secondary pupils to gain from London pledge

London secondary pupils are to get free and subsidised entry to a range of cultural, artistic and sporting attractions in the capital as part of government plans announced today.

The London Student pledge is part of the wider London Challenge initiative, which aims to make the capital a "world-leader for learning and creativity over the next five years".

Pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds who have never seen a West End show will get the chance to go for the first time, and the London Challenge will ensure that all secondary school pupils have at least two hours physical activity a week by 2007.

A number of organisations are backing the pledge and will continue to develop strong links with schools, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tate Modern and the National Theatre.

Every secondary school pupil will have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities. This includes volunteering, working with businesses on solving 'real life' problems and contributing their views on London issues through the youth parliament.

The Department for Education and Skills is providing more than £500,000 to a number of London organisations to offer free services or a greater subsidy than usual to schools.

Schools Minister Stephen Twigg said: "Every young person in London should have access to some of the best of what the capital has to offer over the course of their secondary education. We are working with top organisations throughout London to make sure that, regardless of costs, every secondary school pupil can benefit and develop from what's around them in such a great city."

(gmcg)

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