Private school prefects are being taught leadership skills by elite video gamers, the Telegraph has learned.
Pupils at Harrodian School in Barnes, south west London, are receiving help in how to become more authoritative in their roles after striking up a relationship with The Freelancers Union of Gaming (FUG), a global group of gaming enthusiasts with 2,500 members.
The purpose of the arrangement is to help Year 11 students become more confident in helping them to organise in-school activities and liaise with teachers.
The collaboration was established after a 17-year-old student, Ozan Sanon, began speaking to Andreas Åman, who founded FUG, while playing PlanetSide 2, an online multiplayer game in which players fight for territorial control of a fictional planet.
Impressed by Åman's command of dozens of players, Ozan invited him to the school to pass on his leadership instructions normally reserved for online gamers.
Mr Åman said: "Gaming is a perfect medium for safely exploring and practising leadership. Our organisation seeks to network, explore ideas, enable visions and develop skills.
"We manifested out of the opportunities games provided but are not necessarily bound to that medium."
The school then launched a trial in which Year 11 prefects created gaming-style message boards to communicate among themselves.
The forums were also used to organise school events and introduce "progression ranks", which can lead to pupils given extra responsibilities.
Independent school head encourages schools to go paperless
Exercise books are “old fashioned”, a leading headmistress has said as she urges schools to follow her lead and become “paperless”.
Children need to be “prepared for the future, not for the past”, according to Kathy Crewe-Read, head of the £14,000-a-year Wolverhampton Grammar School.
Since most offices are now paperless there is no reason why schools should not emulate this approach, she said. Pupils at Wolverhampton Grammar School aged between nine and 14 now use iPads in every lesson rather than exercise books and textbooks.
“We are trying to prepare our students for a distant future where, ultimately, writing and reading might be a thing of the past,” Mrs Crewe-Read told The Telegraph.