‘Private school pupils win more at Olympics’

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Private school students are more likely than others to win Olympic medals, a headteacher says.

Berkhamsted School principal Mark Steed writes in his latest blog post that 39 per cent of Britain’s London 2012 Olympic medals were won by people educated in independent schools.

That’s despite the sector only accounting for seven per cent of the school population, he writes at independenthead.blogspot.co.uk

“Ultimately it comes down to valuing sport as an important part of the curriculum, and investing in it,” he says.

He said that last year 98 per cent of Year 7 girls represented Berkhamsted School Kings Campus at sport.

By the school’s sixth form, a third represent the school in sport and each pupil does at least three hours of it per week, he writes.

Mr Steed has also run numerous marathons himself.

He says: “Unless we foster good habits in our young people, we are in danger that this generation will be so obese that it will trigger a health crisis that will stretch nation’s resources to breaking point.

“Schools, colleges and universities have an opportunity – and I believe a responsibility – to encourage young people to develop habits in relation to regular exercise that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”

He says private schools do on average twice as much sport per week as state schools, as well as spending millions on state-of-the-art facilities and coaches.

But Herts County Council spokesman David Henning said at least three Olympic medal-winners came from the county’s state schools.

He said: “State schools have more than adequate and very good provisions for sport.”