Derek Peaple


Derek is the Headteacher of Park House School in Newbury, a mixed 11-18 Converter Academy of 1020 students and former Daily Telegraph National Specialist Sports College of the Year.  In 2016 the school was identified by the Minister of State for Education as being placed in the top 100 state schools in the country for continuous improvement.  Prior to his appointment to the Headship of Park House in 2003, Derek was the Headteacher of Woodcote High School, another Specialist Sports College, in the London Borough of Croydon.

Derek has played a leading role in regional, national and international sports education initiatives. He helped to design the London 2012 Get Set Education programme and additionally contributed materials to the BBC World Olympic Dreams programme in schools nationally and internationally. In 2012 Derek was appointed as the first Chair of the Youth Sport Trust’s national Headteacher Strategy Group to promote the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy and in 2013 received the inaugural Sir John Madejski Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Sport. He contributed to the House of Commons Education Committee’s influential Report, School Sport following London 2012: No more political football and is currently advising the All Party Parliamentary Group on Physical Activity. He is the Headteacher Chair of the Local Organising Committee for the nationally award winning Berkshire School Games. Derek also wrote a series of materials for the RFU to support the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The school’s use of sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Values to build confidence in learning across the curriculum featured as a case study in Demos’ 2015 Report, Character Nation. In this context, Derek’s ‘values-driven ambition for students’ has been praised by Ofsted as a distinctive feature of his leadership.

As a result of the breadth of his work, Derek was shortlisted for the 2016 Times Education Supplement National Headteacher of the Year Award.

Derek is a graduate of Oriel College, Oxford University where he read Modern History and, as a subject leader in that curriculum area in the 1990s, contributed to the development of the National Curriculum and was a GCSE and A Level textbook author and Chief Examiner.



Olympism and Education at Park House School

The proposed keynote presentation will provide an overview of how Olympism and a related focus on the history and values associated with the Olympic and Paralympic Games in a mixed, state community school in the UK have provided a sustainable long-term framework for:

  • the development of school ethos
  • curriculum innovation and enrichment
  • students’ personal development
  • cross-phase and international learning partnerships

It will also highlight case studies on:

  1. The school’s on-going work to link the London 2012 Get Set Olympic and Paralympic Values-themed Programme to the Tokyo 2020 Yon Doi Education Programme and emergent cross-curricular learning pathways extending to Paris 2024 as part of an education legacy
  2. Thematic school-university enrichment and extension programmes

The overarching aim will be to illustrate how Olympism and its associated values have been used successfully in a variety of learning contexts and to begin to stimulate further thinking about thematic engagement with schools in the lead up to Paris 2024.