Source: RFU

The Duke of Sussex joins All Schools milestone celebration

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The RFU was delighted that His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex visited Lealands High School in Luton yesterday to celebrate this school becoming the 750th school to join the CBRE All Schools programme (‘All Schools programme’), thereby helping the Rugby Football Union (‘RFU’) to hit the target it set for this Rugby World Cup 2015 legacy initiative.

During the visit 60 students took part in touch rugby games and skills sessions.

In addition to Lealands High School, four other schools on the programme, Challney Boys School, The Chiltern Academy, Lea Manor High School and Stopsley High School also took part.

As well as meeting teachers and selected students from the above schools, The Duke met with representatives from Denbigh High School and Rokeby High School, which are alumni of the programme, to learn about the positive impact rugby has had on them and their schools. He also met with volunteers from local rugby clubs in Luton.

The Duke became Patron of the All Schools programme in 2013, and became Patron of the RFU in 2017. His Royal Highness is a passionate supporter of the sport and the benefits it can provide for young people.

Bill Sweeney, CEO of the RFU comments: “We are immensely proud that The Duke of Sussex was able to help us celebrate reaching the 750th milestone target for this programme. It is great that we had the opportunity to include the pupils and teachers from a new cluster of schools, along with two schools who have graduated from the programme, and their link clubs.

“Rugby is a sport for all and, through the All Schools programme, a positive legacy has been created for children in 750 schools in England through rugby and its core values, making school life happier and healthier, reducing anti-social behaviour, enhancing learning and increasing self-esteem. We aim to continue growing participation in rugby in the future.”

The RFU launched All Schools in September 2012 as a Rugby World Cup 2015 Legacy programme.

The aim was to increase the number of secondary state schools playing rugby union and to encourage new players to join local clubs.

Recent independent research conducted by Sheffield Hallam University highlights the positive impact that this programme has delivered for schools, students and clubs.

As a result of participating in the programme:

  • 85% of schools are positive about their links with local clubs and as a result clubs have an average of 19 new players joining in the first 3 years of All Schools in their area. Over 10,500 students having joined a local rugby clubs from All Schools.
  • Participation in rugby has increased in the All Schools since the inception of the programme in 2012. 65% of the players are boys and with over a third being girls taking up the game.
  • 71% of students are undertaking more physical activity, 69% are more aspirational and 73% of schools on the programme reported that pupils are more confident.
  • Rugby clubs report that All Schools has reinvigorated junior rugby provision. They are able to offer an additional competitive outlet to All Schools’ players, particularly for contact rugby, coached in a safe and supportive way.

Find out more about All Schools here.

Background on schools involved in visit:

Lealands High School – Head Teacher, John Burridge
Joined the All Schools programme in 2019. Linked to Luton RFC.
Lealands High School was fully re-built and re-furbished in 2013 and is a comprehensive Foundation school located on the northern edge of Luton, in Sundon Park. The school provides education for circa 1,000 students aged from 11 to 16. Its core values are respect, responsibility and excellence. The school’s mission is to support each individual to ‘climb the mountain to success.’

Challney High School for Boys – Head Teacher, Daniel Connor
Joined the All Schools programme in 2018. Linked to Stockwood Park RFC.
Founded in 2011, Challney High School for Boys educates circa 1,000 pupils aged 11 to 16. It has a heritage of excellent examination results, sporting achievements and positive contributions to the local community. It is a member of the Chiltern Learning Trust and the home of The Chiltern Training Group. The Chiltern Teaching School Alliance is also based at the school. Its core values are ‘high achievement and access for all are the shared responsibilities’.

The Chiltern Academy – Head Teacher, Ian Douglas
Joined the All Schools programme in 2019. Linked to Stockwood Park RFC.
Founded in September 2018, the Chiltern Academy is a mixed school for 11 to 16 year olds. 210 pupils enrolled at the school in 2018 and there will be 240 joining in September 2019. Although it is a ‘Free School’, the school will follow the National Curriculum with specialist areas of Sport, Engineering and Business. As a new school, the pupils should benefit from an outstanding working environment which will provide a comfortable and enjoyable place to learn, supported by the very latest technologies.

Lea Manor High School – Head Teacher, Gwyneth Gibson
Joined the All Schools programme in 2019. Linked to Luton RFC.
Founded in 1974, Lea Manor High School has circa 1,150 pupils aged 11 to 16. The school’s focus is on creating an academic environment where there is a culture of ‘no excuses’. It aims to educate and empower pupils to navigate their way in a complex and ever-changing world.

Stopsley High School – Head Teacher, Karen Johns
Joined All Schools programme in 2018. Linked to Luton RFC.
Founded in 1949, Stopsley High School is a modern, aspirational school for 1,350 pupils aged 11 to 16. The school believes in the importance of unlocking each student’s potential. Students are encouraged to aim high and dream big, developing strong aspirations and a lasting love of learning.

Denbigh High School – Head Teacher, Donna Neely-Hayes (alumni)
Joined the All Schools programme in 2013. Linked to Stockwood Park RFC.
Denbigh High School is ethnically diverse and in the past rugby has not been the most popular sport. However, through the work of Mr Stewart, the Head of PE, there has been a cultural shift and more players have been getting involved. Last season the Year 8 team won the local All Schools competition and hope to retain their title this academic year.

Rokeby High School – Head Teacher, Charlotte Robinson (alumni)
Joined the All Schools programme in 2012.
Rokeby has now graduated from the All Schools programme and is an example of a school that has embraced rugby, embedding it into the school culture. All the teachers in the PE department are now qualified to teach rugby and students are given opportunities to play both tag and contact.

Courtesy of the RFU