The PADSIS Blog

If you were a PADSIS member you would be able to view this content. Membership starts at just £49.Click to join PADSISConfusing the Purpose of Independent School Sport

Posted: Friday, 15 September 2017

In most subjects, there is no disconnect between the educational and business purpose of an independent school.  Good exam results are good for business.  Full stop.  This might lead to accusations of teaching to the test, in “exam factories”, but parents and schools find rare and easy agreement here.  Good grades are the right outcome, and everyone aspires to the same thing. When exam results are published every summer, each school seeks a new way of measuring the to claim another record.  High grades correlate with high happiness - across the board.  Results mean reputation.  For the avoidance of doubt, widely published tables offer ready comparison of schools, and bursary of those in the upper divisions are clear of the business implication of this.   The same applies to elite sport.  Frequently produced tables allow clear identification of success.  The top teams attract the greatest income. Competitive successes closely accompanied by financial fortunes   It is less...

If you were a PADSIS member you would be able to view this content. Membership starts at just £49.Click to join PADSISRead More »

If you were a PADSIS member you would be able to view this content. Membership starts at just £49.Click to join PADSISHas School Sport Become too Extreme?

Posted: Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The last twenty years has seen an astronomical increase in the standard of the top level of school sport in UK.  The increased allocation of resources – time, facilities, specialist coaching, levels of competition – has developed out of all recognition.  Top level performance, and victory in an ever increasing number of high profile competitions has become more important.  The result is a fierce contest for the services of the best players and the emergence of increasingly demanding programmes of preparation.  This process – the ‘academisation” of school sport – has unquestionably raised the standard of the best performers and the leading teams.  An unintended consequence, however, is a subtle shift in the purpose of sport in secondary education.  Many schools are conducting themselves as if their principal function is to produce a supply of players for professional sport. Frequent website boasts of competitive success and representative selections reinforce this impression.  The...

If you were a PADSIS member you would be able to view this content. Membership starts at just £49.Click to join PADSISRead More »

If you were a PADSIS member you would be able to view this content. Membership starts at just £49.Click to join PADSIS“Please Miss, I don’t care what my 1500m time is”

Posted: Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The class 1500m “race”.  It has probably happened in most year groups, in most schools, at some time over the last ten weeks.  Often on the day when the weather is too inclement to safely attempt field events. To what purpose? Running nearly four times round an undulating grass track is an unlikely stimulant for a “Road to Damascus” moment to inspire a lifelong love of running. Far more probable is the reinforced conviction that running is a pointlessly painful pursuit – guaranteed to bring humiliation to those at the back. Most schools have a significant number of teenage pupils who cannot run a mile without stopping. Having failed to achieve this the previous summer, and taken no aerobic exercise of any significance in the 12 months between, this is unlikely to have changed. Neither is it likely to be fondly recalled, nor are motivation levels likely to have increased. There are few schools in which many pupils will welcome the announcement of the impending 1500m.  Fewer still in...

If you were a PADSIS member you would be able to view this content. Membership starts at just £49.Click to join PADSISRead More »

If you were a PADSIS member you would be able to view this content. Membership starts at just £49.Click to join PADSISThe Changing Tone of School Sport

Posted: Friday, 23 June 2017

How important is winning? The answer to this - apparently spurious - question massively influences the success criteria of school sport.  If winning is the most important thing, it has implications that are far reaching.  It influences how the game is coached, refereed, team selection, substitution, as well as the attitudes of players, coaches and parents to the opposition, the referee, cheating and their respect for the game. The tone and spirit of school sport has changed significantly in the last twenty years.  And not for the better.  In the absence of more compelling success criteria, the default position has become the value system of the Daily Telegraph and Sky Sports - what are the results?  Who has won? Who is unbeaten? What is the implication of it all? When winning becomes the driving force of school sport, lots of things change.  The atmosphere becomes more unforgiving, and the values change from those of education to those of professional sport.  The locus of blame shifts...

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