More pupils are taking part in sport at school but thousands are not being taught competitive games such as cricket, tennis and athletics.
Ministers hailed the results of a national survey, which showed that many secondary schools had met a key Government target to boost school sports a year early.
However, with the 2012 Olympics coming to London, nearly one in ten of the 11,400 schools in the school sports partnerships initiative were not offering athletics, and 29 per cent were not offering tennis.
And 15 per cent of the schools were not offering cricket, despite the enthusiasm sweeping England during this summer's Ashes Test series.
By 2006, all schools in England will be in sports partnerships, which involve primary, secondary and special schools co-operating to offer more sporting opportunities for pupils.
The Government has set a target for 75 per cent of pupils to spend a minimum of two hours each week on high quality PE and school sport by next year.
The survey showed that secondary schools in the partnerships scheme had already met this target.