Sports Elite Problem?
Posted: Wed, 03 Jul 2019 12:01
The latest report from the Social Mobility Commission and Sutton Trust included sport in its latest findings. Sadly we didn't come out very well from the report looking into the stagnation of social mobility in the UK. It remains a stubborn problem.
The only sport that has an under representation of pupils from Independent schools in it ranks if football ( I would assume if the researchers looked at a range of other sport like boxing they would find similar patterns). Now this is a highly political issue and of course depends if you take the lack of social mobility in this country seriously or indeed a problem and even if so how much can sport solve the problems created by society?
This topics has created some of the most interesting 'debate' in and around the Team at the Think Tank as we all come from different professional and political backgrounds.
We accept that Sport in itself can't solve all societies problems and issues (yet on the other hand too many sports claim we can!) but surely in what should be a meritocracy system we should be able to cope better than other sectors like the press, and Judges.
Whilst there are no single issues that cause the problem, we do believe the decline in reducing the problem of social mobility may be down to the sharp reduction in PE and Sport in schools beyond KS3. Whilst Clubs and NGBs can help with the talent pathway from an early age it is clear there are so many people who have probably not even had the chance to try the sport they could be world champions.
The dominance of the Independent Schools in their Sport and PE spend can't be fixed overnight, but the best way to achieve a more level playing field would be to start here.
Clearly the other bigger issues of poverty and injustice across society mean that even if all state schools had the same level of facilities there would still be some disadvantage - but we believe it would be a lot less marked. This is why the School Sport Action Plan promised by the government due before the recess is vital.