Ofsted: Too many pupils 'denied competitive sport'

Ofsted has warned too many pupils are being denied the chance to take part in competitive sport by state schools who treat it as an "optional extra".

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State school head: We need access to better facilites

It is "no wonder" more athletes went to private schools than state funded facilities, as they have better access to sports equipment and playing fields, the head of an inner city school told Good Morning Britain.

Serge Cefai, head of London's Sacred Heart School, said it was unfair parents were threatened with arrest if their child was obese and school meals were "micro-managed" while state school pupils were denied access to playing fields.

Denying pupils competitive sport 'cements inequality'

Schools which do not offer pupils the chance to play competitive sport "cement the social inequality that holds our nation back", the head of Ofsted has said.

Sir Michael Wilshaw, who is due to present a report into sports teaching in state and private schools at the Festival of Education at Wellington College, said:

Heads who treat competitive sport with suspicion or as an optional extra are not only denying youngsters the clear dividends that come with encouraging them to compete, they are also cementing the social inequality that holds our nation back.

More state schools are now encouraging sporting excellence.

They use competitive schools sport to energise the entire school culture.

They demonstrate that high school fees and large playing fields are not a pre-requisite to success.

– Sir Michael Wilshaw

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Majority of Rugby Union players 'went to private school'

The majority of professional players in the English Rugby Union Premiership went to a fee paying school, according to an Ofsted report into sport in UK schools.

The watchdog also found:

  • More than a third of top cricket players were privately educated.
  • In many state schools, the quality of competitive sport was no better than average, while in a significant number it was weak, inspectors warned.
  • Half of the 1,000 students quizzed by Ofsted said they regularly played sport in school against their classmates or rival schools.
  • Another 40% said they regularly played sport outside of school.
  • The report found that the best schools' competitive sport was flourishing because it was valued and seen as a key part of the culture and ethos.
  • Coaches were hired to work alongside teachers and coach school teams, while teachers gave up their time to help organise activities and run teams.

Ofsted: Too many pupils 'denied competitive sport'

Ofsted has warned that too many pupils are being denied the chance to take part in competitive sport by state schools who treat it as an "optional extra".

In a new report, the Chief Inspector of School said children's education was poorer if they were deprived of the chance to compete.

Ofsted says too many pupils are 'denied competitive sport'. Credit: Jon Buckle/EMPICS Sport

Sir Michael Wilshaw suggested that many state schools were failing to offer good quality competitive sport when it should be seen as key to helping boost children's results in the classroom and exam hall.

Ofsted's new report, commissioned after the 2012 London Olympics, examined why so many winning athletes come from private schools rather than the state sector, and the links between the quality of competitive school sport and sporting success later in life.

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