The landscape of school sport is a rapidly changing one. Assumptions of only a decade ago are now under threat, as expectations shift. The primacy of school teams has weakened, with fewer children playing traditional games than at any time previously. Ambitions of schools for sport and exercise are broader than they previously were, which can create conflicting priorities and increasing pressure on resources.
The challenges facing Directors of Sport are therefore greater than ever before. Attempting to satisfy the requirements of a wide range of increasingly vocal parents requires a different type of programme from previously, and a more credible justification for its benefits.
The principal keynote speakers will focus on these twin priorities: the Director of Sport as the leader of a relevant sports culture, and the benefits that participation in team games brings.
As usual, there will be a wide range of further sessions to address particular issues and trends in the sector.
The Thursday Discussion Forum has become an important focus of the Conference. This year, it will be divided into two sessions; the first will be a general one to consider issues that impact all schools, with a second one dividing into school types and specific topics for more targeted debate.
The Conference always provides an opportunity to connect, network and socialise with like-minded professionals in a convivial environment. The content and structure of the event may shift from year to year, but this will be happily consistent throughout.