Hectoring PE teachers turn girls off sport

Girls are being deterred from taking part in competitive sport by PE teachers who humiliate them, according to the president of the Girls’ Schools Association. This is from the Sunday Times

Hilary French, headmistress of Central Newcastle High School, a leading girls’ school, said: “The old-style barracking associated with many PE teachers destroys confidence and turns girls off sport. Intimidation, shouting at and humiliating girls by telling them they are useless at hockey is disastrous.

“Girls feel self-conscious and embarrassed. Girls and boys need a different approach when it comes to teaching sport: lots of girls need persuading and coaxing. They can be just as competitive as boys, provided they have confidence.”

Research to be presented to a conference this week shows that girls begin dropping out of sport as young as nine and by the age of 14 there are far fewer girls than boys taking part in competitive games.

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Do you have daughters who have been put off sport by intimidating PE teachers? Do you have an approach in your school that makes sure this doesn’t happen? Let us know your thoughts and feedback in the comments or on Twitter…

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  1. LearnWLesley

    SchoolsImprove coaching games is about motivating & helping girls gain confidence in sport. However we also encourage self-discipline 1/2

  2. 5N_Afzal

    Yep! Know of someone who stopped going to gym class because the teacher would tell her off in public for not being able to bend as far as the teacher wanted!

  3. poemspictures

    SchoolsImprove I was put off by a Miss Trunchbowl type character.I was chosen for swim team & harriers but she definitely put me off #bully

  4. FionaTipper

    SchoolsImprove I wish I had had the PE teachers that my kids have, they are amazing and get fab results, mine were eg of how not to do it.

  5. nikkidee

    At high school I always felt intimidated by the pe teachers and on one occasion I couldn’t swim because my eczema was bad on my legs. Mu mother had wrote a note to the teacher explaining this and the pe teacher insisted that I show her my legs so she could see them for herself. I had to pull down my tights in front of everyone and show her my eczema. It was embarrassing and intimidating. Needless to say my mother went in the next day to complain. Disgusting.

  6. poemspictures

    SchoolsImprove I used to fear the #PE lesson & was among many.I hope this is addressed more now #psychological #school #bully

  7. jacquiburkefp

    SchoolsImprove I was terrified of PE teachers & volunteered for piano lessons, hid in school library, got sick note etc to avoid PE.

  8. maccprin56

    LearnWLesley SchoolsImprove often true but our school makes deliberate staffing decision to have sport and PE part of whole school program

  9. damiendjones

    maccprin56 LearnWLesley SchoolsImprove case in point was our level4 girls interschool footy today.Genuine skill on show & they had a ball

  10. worthybobs

    SchoolsImprove Not just girls. Once you get to high school you only like PE if you’re good at it. Communal changing isn’t much fun either

  11. maria_oaktree

    worthybobs SchoolsImprove So true. Athletics was my worst fear in school. Used to pray for rain. I just couldn’t do it and hate sport now.

  12. Michaela_OSull

    SchoolsImprove making them do PE in freezing pouring rain while teacher wrapped up in waterproofs – no wonder my daughter hates PE!

  13. onet18975

    Michaela_OSull SchoolsImprove what a pathetic old fashioned stereotypical perspective – obviously neither been into many PE depts recently

  14. kerrihoneysett

    murphiegirl SchoolsImprove hated 2ndry school PE. Now run, kickbox & climb. Daughter does karate & climbing. Not enough choice of sports.

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