David Elstone letter to the Times: the impact of sport on improving behaviour in schools

The Times, 19.06.15 David Elstone, Chairman of HMC's sports committee, and headmaster of Hymers College, Hull writes:

Sir, There is a growing body of evidence showing the impact of sport on improving behaviour in schools. The Youth Sport Trust and Centre for Policy Studies have both shown that sport gives boys in particular what they crave — an outlet for their often boundless energy. Some independent schools offer twice as much sport as state schools, which may help to explain the generally good classroom behaviour that the former enjoy.

After 30 years as a teacher, headmaster and sportsman, I have witnessed the energising yet calming effect of physical activity, and the value of the teamwork and resilience that it brings. Independent schools have already helped to bring increased sporting activity to thousands of pupils in state schools through our partnership work, and the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference would be pleased to see sport at the centre of the new behaviour tsar’s approach.

David Elstone
Chairman, HMC sports committee, and headmaster, Hymers College, Hull