Competitive sport in independent schools should be a model for state schools to follow, the head of the education watchdog Ofsted has said. This is from the Telegraph…
Concerns have been raised that England’s most promising young sports stars are not getting opportunities in comprehensive schools to compete at the highest level.
As part of a new study, inspectors will visit private schools to compare standards and methods of instruction in sport with what is on offer in the state system.
“I am particularly concerned, as is the Government, about extra-curricular sport and competitive sport and games,” said Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector of schools.
“The report will look at whether our most able sports people are getting the enrichment programmes that are offered in the independent sector.”
More than a third of British medal winners in the 2012 London Olympics were from private schools, which educate 7 per cent of the children.
Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford all won gold medals and attended state schools – King Ecgbert School, in Sheffield, Feltham Community School, in west London, and Denbigh School, in Milton Keynes.
Victoria Pendleton and Laura Trott, who won gold in track cycling, also went to comprehensives – Fearnhill School and Turnford School, in Hertfordshire.
However private school gold medalists included rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, who attended Millfield School, Somerset, and Gordonstoun, in Invernesshire, triathlon star Alistair Brownlee and his bronze medallist brother Jonathan, who went to fee-paying Bradford Boys Grammar and Laura Bechtolsheimer, who won gold in dressage and is a former pupil of Stonar School, in Wiltshire.
Sir Michael said good schools embraced sporting excellence, as well as academic success, because it helped to build pupils’ character and self-esteem.
“The independent sector has been very good over many years at guiding character and giving pupils a sense of self-esteem.
“The youngsters who leave the independent sector have a sense that they are going to be powerful people in society and we need to develop that same character- building in the state sector.”
Sport coaches should be paid extra to work with promising pupils, said the chief inspector.