State schools not doing enough to encourage 'winners' in sport, claims Bristol MP
STATE schools are not doing enough to encourage "winners" in sport, a Bristol MP has claimed.
Tory Charlotte Leslie said children in some comprehensives were "ridiculed" if they are good at sport.
She was speaking after the British Olympic chief said it was "unacceptable" that so many of Team GB's medalists had come from public schools, which make up just seven per cent of the population.
Lord Moynihan, chairman of the British Olympic Association and himself public school-educated, had sparked the debate when he said: "It is wholly unacceptable that over 50% of our medallists in Beijing came from the private sector. It tells you that 50% of the medals came from 7% of the population...There's a massive problem with sports and facilities in our schools, but it's also a much deeper problem."
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Ms Leslie, who was educated at fee-paying Badminton School, said: “I wonder if it's a problem to with culture. The reason the private sector does well in education is that it's very unapologetic about competition - there are winners and there are losers - and this is certainly not the case for all state schools"
She added: "In some of our state schools, if you are great academically or if you are great on the sports field, you are not celebrated like you are in some other countries, but you are actually ridiculed."
Paul Skipp, director of sport at City Academy, Bristol, did not agree.
He said: "Essentially it's about money and funding. Look at the costs to young people of joining clubs, and playing on a regular basis. "On top of that they have to be transported around, have their kit bought..it's a huge commitment.
"The cost, to the norm of a pupil in a state school, is a barrier, there's no doubt about it."