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AIBU?

What's the obsession with private school parents & sports? Seems to be a deal breaker in choosing a school..

134 replies

Ewetoo · 06/09/2022 12:40

We know many parents with girls & boys ar private schools. They are all obsessed with their kids sport & the school sports facilities, teams etc.. Cross Country, athletics, rugby, football, netball, hockey even yoga gets touted... These schools also provide lots of homework... State school parents aren't nearly as bothered by school sport or aibu..

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

96 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
58%
You are NOT being unreasonable
42%
oxydant · 06/09/2022 12:41

We chose our son's school based in part on the sports they offer.

Sport offers children so much, team skills, friendships, exercise etc etc

CraftyGin · 06/09/2022 12:42

It's about nurturing the body as well as mind.

MuddlerInLaw · 06/09/2022 12:44

What are you actually asking - since you also mention homework …?

minipie · 06/09/2022 12:44

I’m a private school parent and have only seen this on MN not real life.

In RL I know one parent who has mentioned the school sports facilities as a deciding factor but most are interested in academics and pastoral care first and foremost.

I have a very non sporty DD though so maybe it’s just because I don’t do sports chat!

oxydant · 06/09/2022 12:44

It's a private school bashing thread I think

VariationsonaTheme · 06/09/2022 12:45

It’s perfectly understandable that parents who value sports as part of a well rounded education would seek out schools which provide a lot of sport?

Mumspair1 · 06/09/2022 12:47

minipie · 06/09/2022 12:44

I’m a private school parent and have only seen this on MN not real life.

In RL I know one parent who has mentioned the school sports facilities as a deciding factor but most are interested in academics and pastoral care first and foremost.

I have a very non sporty DD though so maybe it’s just because I don’t do sports chat!

This is true as a private school parent myself. Academics, school culture and pastoral care were priority. Tbf I would say that all of the selective private schools we looked at had excellent sport facilities regardless. They simply cater for it all.

edwinbear · 06/09/2022 12:48

I think a lot of parents of sporty DC are attracted by 1) the prospect of a sports scholarship to offset the eye watering fees and b) the chance to represent at county/national level. So it's more (in my opinion) that parents of sporty DC actively seek out private schools, rather than, private schools turning non sporty DC and their parents into sports fanatics.

DashboardConfessional · 06/09/2022 12:50

I went to Durham and it was packed with sporty rugby lads and cricketers/rowers. I honestly think it's partly for something to indicate they're a good "all-rounder" for uni applications. My very good 6th form made you do "enrichment" on a Weds and preferred a sport.

Ewetoo · 06/09/2022 12:51

oxydant · 06/09/2022 12:44

It's a private school bashing thread I think

No it's not.. Met up with some friends last weekend as they're dc back to school next week & mine returned yesterday. There were 4 families & the 3 sets of parents chatted about school sports the whole time.
One said how her daughter is very unsporty & she is pushing her to join at least 2 sports next term on top of yoga... Surely music, dance or a language would be more enjoyable for her child.. I asked her this & she said "oh they already do French, she does violin & piano outside school, we want her to be an all-rounder" 😕

OP posts:
Flatandhappy · 06/09/2022 12:51

Kids who do a whole lot of sport are often just too busy to get up to much mischief tbh. We are in Aus and compulsory training twice a week either before or after school and Saturday sport gives them a lot of time to hang out with their mates having fun and less time to do the things parents would prefer they didn’t. Any decent private school here gives endless options, you don’t have to necessarily be “sporty”.

oxydant · 06/09/2022 12:52

I guessed it. @Ewetoo you're being judgemental, why?

oxydant · 06/09/2022 12:52

Flatandhappy · 06/09/2022 12:51

Kids who do a whole lot of sport are often just too busy to get up to much mischief tbh. We are in Aus and compulsory training twice a week either before or after school and Saturday sport gives them a lot of time to hang out with their mates having fun and less time to do the things parents would prefer they didn’t. Any decent private school here gives endless options, you don’t have to necessarily be “sporty”.

Haha this! I plan on keeping my sons very busy with sport etc... in the hopes they are too tired to get up to mischief

Nateismine · 06/09/2022 12:53

My kids are sporty. My choice of private school was heavily influenced by the sports provision🤷‍♀️

DashboardConfessional · 06/09/2022 12:55

oxydant · 06/09/2022 12:52

I guessed it. @Ewetoo you're being judgemental, why?

I judge parents who make their children do hobbies they don't enjoy because they think it will impress other people. Whatever school they go to.

Lolliepoppie · 06/09/2022 12:57

The vast majority of my friends’ DC at state schools do a HUGE amount of sports outside school: football, cricket, rugby, tennis, ballet, swimming, martial arts…the list seems endless.
I would have said they are more devoted to sport (especially football, swimming and tennis) than the private school DP I know.

oxydant · 06/09/2022 12:57

Children have to do loads of things they don't want to do. If we didn't make them do them, they'd watch tv all day.

DashboardConfessional · 06/09/2022 12:59

oxydant · 06/09/2022 12:57

Children have to do loads of things they don't want to do. If we didn't make them do them, they'd watch tv all day.

One said how her daughter is very unsporty & she is pushing her to join at least 2 sports next term on top of yoga... Surely music, dance or a language would be more enjoyable for her child.. I asked her this & she said "oh they already do French, she does violin & piano outside school

Yeah, I guess she does sound like a proper couch potato.

MaChienEstUnDick · 06/09/2022 12:59

Sport is good for kids. I do know a couple of private school parents who have said it was important for them that their girls 'do' sport into their teens, they're both at single-sex where girls do tend to stick to sport for longer.

However I think the performative 'we want them to be an all rounder' parents definitely exist and it's all a bit hot-housey for me. That said, I've seen it at state school too. Kids must be exhausted.

RunningSME · 06/09/2022 13:00

oxydant · 06/09/2022 12:44

It's a private school bashing thread I think

Surprise surprise

Ewetoo · 06/09/2022 13:03

DashboardConfessional · 06/09/2022 12:59

One said how her daughter is very unsporty & she is pushing her to join at least 2 sports next term on top of yoga... Surely music, dance or a language would be more enjoyable for her child.. I asked her this & she said "oh they already do French, she does violin & piano outside school

Yeah, I guess she does sound like a proper couch potato.

I just asked as she said she was unsporty & my friend was insisting her daughter do 2 after school sports in addition to yoga... They were discussing all the afterschool clubs & I was a bit confused as to why she would put her child who didn't like sport into two sports when she could choose from baking club, creative writing, chess etc...

OP posts:
RunningSME · 06/09/2022 13:05

Ewetoo · 06/09/2022 13:03

I just asked as she said she was unsporty & my friend was insisting her daughter do 2 after school sports in addition to yoga... They were discussing all the afterschool clubs & I was a bit confused as to why she would put her child who didn't like sport into two sports when she could choose from baking club, creative writing, chess etc...

Well the last time I checked you’re not going to remain physically fit playing chess are you ?
it’s no good having a genius who is obese and dies early with diabetes because you have an encouraged an alternative lifestyle that’s not good parenting.

sheepdogdelight · 06/09/2022 13:05

My DB and SIL complain that their private school has too much sport for their non-sporty DCs :)

DashboardConfessional · 06/09/2022 13:06

Ewetoo · 06/09/2022 13:03

I just asked as she said she was unsporty & my friend was insisting her daughter do 2 after school sports in addition to yoga... They were discussing all the afterschool clubs & I was a bit confused as to why she would put her child who didn't like sport into two sports when she could choose from baking club, creative writing, chess etc...

Yes, I was being sarcastic. The alternative to doing 2 sports she doesn't want to do on top of yoga and 2 instruments is not watching TV all day!

crowdedout · 06/09/2022 13:07

2 of my children are at a selective private secondary.

I'm a graduate and therefore my children already have better opportunities in life than many others. On top of that we have better than average household income.

My local state school is stacked with children just like mine and with parents just like me with much better than average household incomes.

Teaching will be no better overall at the private. The fact it is selective means exam results should be significantly better but that is reflective of the selective intake and the general peer pressure to do well that comes from a selective school. 24 children in a year 7 class so not significantly different class sizes either.

Therefore, I'm really paying for the extra curricular opportunity. My children are not particularly sporty but play for the school in matches all over every weekend and really benefit from the team aspects of that. On top of games and PE there is optional (but not selected) extra hockey / rugby / cricket practice on twice a week for all year groups. The local state school is a team only and even then has a pretty sad offering. Sporty children have to join a local club. Likewise, I pay so my children do drama in the school theatre, have access to the school recording studio, have amazing art facilities and dt labs with all the latest kit.

Once you move away from the idea of paying for the formal education and just expect that as the bare minimum offering then the extra curricular and pastoral side of things become paramount and parents talk about it excessively.

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