School sport: Head makes call for more funding

Mr Williams speaking to the Education Select Committee' Mr Williams wants more support from the government.

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Special educational needs (SEN) schools need more money and support to help them sustain a legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, head teacher Trystan Williams has told BBC News School Report.

Mr Williams, the head teacher of The Springfields Academy in Wiltshire, was one of four teachers from across the UK who were asked to give evidence at the Education Select Committee's inquiry into school sport and Olympic legacy on Tuesday.

But he also answered questions from School Reporters at his own school on the topic, telling Ashleigh, 15, that he believes sport is important but that government support is necessary.

"I think SEN schools could be looked after a little bit better by the government - we don't quite get enough funding," he said.

Mr Williams added that his school has been trying to share the Olympic and Paralympic values with young people, hosting an event with 300 children from 11 different schools and encouraging students to follow core values such as determination, inspiration, courage and equality.

"I like to think what we're creating here we can take to other schools nationally to help young people develop social and emotional skills which is something that Michael Gove, Ofsted and government don't always think about," he said.

In his evidence to the Select Committee, Mr Williams said this was especially important for "disaffected learners" and that sport could have a positive effect on exclusion rates.

He also stressed that it is important that schools are innovative when it comes to providing sport in school.

Life skills
Mr Williams is interviewed by School Reporter Ashleigh School Reporter Ashleigh puts questions to the Principal of her school about sport and 2012 legacy

School Reporters at The Springfields Academy canvassed opinion from other parts of the school community, including head of PE Mr Lloyd.

He told School Reporter Emily, 12, that sport in schools is "massively important".

"It's not only about physical things like being able to run and kick and throw and play tennis, but also about all that it does socially and personally," he said.

"Being able to work together, being able to challenge yourself, being able to be creative - all those things make for a better person in life, not just in sport."

Emily also spoke to students George and Richard, both 15, who both said they found taking part in school sport helpful.

George said that taking part in sport helped students learn to "support people", while Richard said that he really enjoyed taking part in sport at school.

"I like the fact we have so many facilities to have more variety within our sports...we have rugby over there, Astroturf here for football... it's incredible," he said.

Students' hopes

Start Quote

I went to see Jess Ennis win the heptathlon and was blown away”

End Quote School Reporter Leon

For George, seeing his head teacher represent the school was "really uplifting".

"I thought it was fantastic; I think he represented the school well, and the country well," he said.

"I'd hope that as a result the government gives schools more funding for sport, because sport is so crucial."

London 2012 inspired the students to take an even greater interest in sport.

"When we watched the Olympics on telly, it really inspired me watching all those British athletes with all those gold medals," said Ashleigh.

Leon, who watched the athletics events at the Olympic Stadium, said the whole experience would live with him for a long time.

"I was blown away because I went to see Jess Ennis win the heptathlon and I'd never heard anything so loud in my life before!" said Leon.

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