The scheme recognises schools providing quality physical education and sports programmes, and is a key element of the government's sports strategy, which aims to put sport back at the heart of school life.
The Gold award recognises those schools which show exceptional achievement, highly innovative schemes or outstanding progress in meeting their sporting aims.
Of the 604 applications received by the English Sports Council, 471 are for the Sportsmark award, and 133 for the Sportsmark Gold award.
Welcoming the high number of responses Mr Sproat said:
'The Sportsmark and Sportsmark Gold award scheme is a key element of the Government's strategy to re-establish sport as one of the great pillars of education.
'The scheme aims to recognise those schools which are committed to providing quality physical education and sport and to encourage other schools to make similar provision.
'I am encouraged that we have received 604 applications from secondary schools and that 133 of the applications are for the Sportsmark Gold award.
'Successful schools will be able to use a special logo on all written material for a three-year period and will also be able to highlight the achievement in their prospectuses. Pupils, their parents, and prospective pupils and their parents, will then know that the school values physical education and sport and that it is committed to the development of sporting links with the local community.
'I am confident that the Sportsmark and Sportsmark Gold scheme will go from strength to strength in future.'