From the BBC
State sector head teachers need to stop treating competitive sport as an "optional extra", says Ofsted's chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw.(1)
In a report, commissioned after the 2012 Olympics, he argues too many top athletes are from private schools.(2)
Schools where pupils lack opportunities to excel in sport also tend to do worse academically, according to the report.(3)
But the National Union of Teachers said Ofsted's comparison between state and private school sport was "ridiculous".(4)
The report, Going the extra mile: Excellence in competitive school sport, was commissioned after the London games to explore why so many Team GB athletes had been educated in private rather than state schools.(5)
1. As a parent, I couldn't give two hoots about my kids doing competitive sport. I hated rugby and football at school and if my kids feel the same way, I couldn't care less. Some people just don't suit it, don't have the co-ordination for it and it's supposed to be fun, and if it isn't, kids shouldn't be doing it.
2. So, what? Sport is economically destructive, especially at the elite level of Olympic sport. People dedicate years of their lives, remortgage houses to pay for coaches, equipment and so forth so that their kid can win a gold medal and then maybe get a couple of years of not especially well paid endorsement opportunities afterwards. And the rewards are only for the winners, not the hundreds of kids who never make it. If the rich want to make themselves poorer playing with a hobby, let them.
3. Which is correlation, not causation. Well-funded schools fund both the lab and the rowing lake. They also generally have parents who've worked to get them into a good school and are committed to seeing them get good results.
4. True. I know someone who is the squash teacher at a private school in Gloucestershire. Squash.
5. Because the Olympic system of funding is rigged towards sports that we're most likely to win something at, which are either obscure sports that no-one cares about winning, including lots of sports with high equipment costs such as yachting, rowing and showjumping that mean you aren't competing with Africans, Jamaicans and Kazakhs. And the people who do things like rowing and showjumping often go to private schools. The right thing to do would be to stop that on the basis that the state shouldn't fund people's hobbies, but government loves a bit of jingoism now and again, regardless of how worthless the baubles are, so won't stop doing it.
Friday, 20 June 2014
From the BBC