Bede’s Senior School in Sussex has become the latest independent school in the UK to successfully pass an assessment by Sport England’s national quality scheme, Quest, with a rating of ‘Excellent’.
Quest is the sport and leisure industry’s best-known improvement programme, with more than 650 Quest-registered sport and leisure facilities across the UK, including 121 facilities within independent schools.
To achieve the accreditation, Bede’s School’s sports facilities underwent a mystery visit and a two-day assessment, during which a wide variety of areas – from cleaning and housekeeping to sports development – were evaluated.
David Byrne, deputy head of sports, says: “We’re constantly striving to develop and enhance the sporting experience at Bede’s. Having Quest carry out an external audit of our organisation gave us the opportunity to demonstrate both our excellent customer service and our sports development profile. We’re incredibly proud to have achieved ‘Excellent’ in our first assessment.”
The school’s onsite facilities include an extensive sports complex, incorporating an eight-court multi-purpose sports hall, a fitness suite, four squash courts and a competition-size swimming pool. There is also a floodlit, water-based hockey pitch, a multi-use games area, all-weather tennis courses, multiple grass pitches and cricket ovals, and a practice golf course.
The school runs four sports academies – cricket, football, hockey and tennis – and more than 20 sports clubs, as well as an Emerging Talent Programme. A number of its coaches are former England and Great Britain sportsmen and women.
In addition to providing curriculum-based and extracurricular sport for pupils, the facilities are open to members of the public on a tightly controlled basis: the school runs a swim school for local children and a range of holiday sports courses, as well as several in-house and outreach activities for the community.
Christine Coppack, the Quest assessor who visited the school, says: “Bede’s provides an excellent sporting environment for everything from social participation through to elite performance.
I particularly liked the way pupil representatives have been appointed to lead and promote participation within their peer groups, communicating both ways to develop the programme and activities that reflect the interests of pupils - Christine Coppack, Quest assessor
“Throughout the assessment, I found the sports staff to be fully engaged with the process and committed to their role in providing quality sport and leisure activities for pupils and local residents. I particularly liked the way pupil representatives have been appointed to lead and promote participation within their peer groups, communicating both ways to develop the programme and activities that reflect the interests of pupils.
“Completing Quest has helped the sports team at Bede’s to review and benchmark their own performance, planning and measurement methods, while also identifying their impact on both the business and pupils – which is something all school-based facilities could benefit from.”
Subscribe to our free fortnightly newsletter and stay ahead with the latest news in independent education