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National Conference for Directors of Sport in Independent Schools – 2–3 March 2023 at Oxford

National Conference for Directors of Sport in Independent Schools

Leading into the Future

2–3 March 2023 at Leonardo Royal Hotel, Oxford

Book online

Please note, all bookings are handled through our partner Independent Coach Education.

Please note accommodation at the Royal Leonardo Hotel is now fully booked. We can assist with finding alternative accommodation, please call Helen on 015395 60060.

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.


Thursday 2 March

1.00pm – 1.30pm


Please note that check in to rooms is not available until 3.00pm

1.30pm – 2.30pm

Discussion Forum: Issues in Contemporary School Sport 

2.45pm – 3.30pm

Specialist Forums

Choose one of the following:
1 Girls’ schools
2 Small school issues
3 Boarding school sport
4 Co-educational day schools
5 The future of school Rugby


Refreshment break


School Sport and the Law
Katie Fudakowski, Farrer and Co Solicitors

4.45pm – 5.15pm

Sector Information Updates

Choose one of the following:
1 Developing outdoor sports facilities
Jason Douglass, S+C Slatter
2 Getting More out of SOCS
James Kershaw-Naylor, SOCS
3 Restoring School Travel
Experience Education
4 The Video Analysis Revolution
Veo Technology
5 Understanding the Kit Industry
Peter Kennedy, O’Neill’s 
6 Contemporary Head Injury Management
Dr Sam Barke, Return2Play


Pre-Dinner Drinks


Conference Dinner
with Guest Speaker

Friday 3 March


Conference assembles. refreshments


Introduction: The Landscape of School Sport
Neil Rollings, PADSIS Chairman


Leading a Culture of Excellence
Allistair McCaw


Refreshment break


Building Belonging; the Potential of Team Games
Owen Eastwood




Seminar Programme One

Choose one of the following sessions:
1  Achieving High Performance in Girls’ Schools 
Louise Fitzroy-Stone MBE
2 Working With Your Head to Develop Sports Strategy
Richard Biggs
3 Managing Heads of Sports 
Neil Rollings
4 Building a Culture of Health and Fitness 
Asha Riley
5 Operating a Sports Scholarship Programme 
Paul Askew




Seminar Programme Two

Choose one of the following sessions:
1  Designing Sport to fully support your Female Athletes 
Dr Emma Ross, The Well HQ
2 Staffing the Sports Programme
Neil Rollings
3 Building a Culture of Commitment to Team Games 
Richard Biggs
4 Creating an Athletic Development Programme 
5 What does Co-educational Sport Really Mean?    
Asha Riley


Conference closes


Friday Conference Only

PADSIS Members £259
Non Members £299
Two Delegates from the same school £469

Thursday and Friday Full Conference

PADSIS Members (no accommodation) £349
Non Members (no accommodation) £389
Two Delegates from the same school (no accommodation, to include one PADSIS Member) £599

PADSIS Membership £99 (Join PADSIS when booking to enjoy member’s discount)

Call to discuss rates not listed, or additional requirements. Attendance at the Thursday Forum only is FREE.

Prices include resources, refreshments, lunch and merchandise. Excludes VAT.

Book online

Please note, all bookings are handled through our partner Independent Coach Education.

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