Nicola Bastick wanted to make sure her daughter Georgina ? a Wimbledon hopeful – had enough time to hone her talent and not be distracted by schoolwork.
But her previous school insisted on pupils studying 11 subjects ? leaving precious little time for Georgina’s court practice. So mum Nicola decided to take matters into her own hands ? and launched a tennis school to meet her daughter’s needs.
At The Freedom School in London pupils study only three subjects each year ? leaving ample time for them to practise their sporting skills.
The move helped Georgina to ace her exams and now the 17-year-old is in training for a professional tennis career.
Nicola said a major shake up in the UK education system was needed if we are to ever to produce any homegrown talent capable of winning the grand slams.
She said she launched The Freedom School, in east London, to assist sporty children and those interested in the performing arts arena: ?Despite the fact Georgina was attending a very good private school, they would not accommodate her demanding training schedule. She was expected to study for 11 GCSE?S even though she is clearly a talent which needs nurturing.
?After speaking with the Lawn Tennis Association we were advised that once she had completed her first year of GCSE?s we should try out Oxford Open Learning like other top players. But we found this inefficient and still found ourselves paying for extra private tuition.
?The Freedom School Offers classes of 3-4 pupils rather than the 20 pupils found in mainstream schools. We find the rivalry between the students helps them motivate each other for better grades. Plus, parents often get to communicate with teachers directly for regular progress reports.
?Alongside other attendees Georgina needs to fit studying around tournaments and training which often demands travelling abroad. So we have developed an online working system for them to use whilst away. This way they do not miss out on the learning and don?t have so much to catch up on when they return.
Pupils at The Freedom School study three subjects each year but take their GCSEs after one year ? so they achieve six in total ? enough for University entry. They can also study their A-levels.
Nicola said: ?Last year Georgina gained an A* in her GCSE PE at The Freedom School. Although she is hoping to go professional within the next year or so we do advise our students to get enough GCSE?s so they can study at an American University which offers sport?s scholarships to study for a degree.?
For more information on The Freedom School visit www.freedomschool.co.uk