20 Jun '14

News Ofsted's sporting failure

The schools watchdog's report on sport in state and private schools fails to address the disparity of privilege and provisionTwo years since the nation cheered Team GB athletes to London Olympic medals without quite admitting how many acquired their accomplishments in prohibitively expensive private schools, Ofsted has produced a report into this most blatant inequality. Yet, sadly, its survey somewhat cheesily called Going the Extra Mile concludes that state schools must do better, while applauding private schools as models of good practice. Quite bewilderingly, though signed off by Sir Michael Wilshaw, her majesty's chief inspector of (state) schools, it avoids almost completely the glaring facts on the ground.These are that sporting provision, perhaps more than any other activity, embodies the divide tolerated in Britain between private schools exclusively for a privileged 7% of children and state schools for the other 93%. Wilshaw's report notes that 41% of GB medals in London 2012 were claimed by privately educated athletes. His researchers, apparently seeking to understand this imbalance, visited 10 independent schools "with a strong track records [sic] of sporting excellence" and 35 state schools "where the picture was very mixed". Yet while the report does acknowledge, minimally, the "first-class facilities" its inspectors found in the private schools, it presents these as having somehow been produced by the commitment of teachers and the head. Continue reading...

Read the full story in Guardian Education
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