Calling all Primary PE Specialists

by Will Swaithes, Head of PE and Achievement, Youth Sport Trust

Are you a primary school teacher with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) who specialises in PE? If so, we would love to connect you with other Primary PE specialists across the country to help share learning and keep you abreast of updates and information.

Since the introduction of the PE and Sport Premium in 2013 there has been a massive increase in the quantity of primary teachers training and operating as specialists. Here at the Youth Sport Trust we want to ensure that this growing group of individuals have the opportunity to collaborate and support each other.

You might be working within one school or across a number of settings. Or perhaps you are currently undergoing your training and would like to network with others across the country with the same career intentions. Either way, we would like to hear from you.

Growing numbers

NatCen data in December 2015 suggested “the proportion of primary schools with a specialist PE teacher has increased by 50% to almost half of all schools”.

There has also been an explosion in the number of coaches operating in primary schools. In many cases they are high quality and significantly contributing to the extra-curricular breadth of provision. However, I remain convinced that to be labelled as a PE specialist the professional standards of QTS must have been met and hence the network we are looking to build is exclusively for those individuals.

According to UCAS Teacher Training vacancies, there are now 28 providers of specialist ‘Primary Physical Education’. There are many others that we are aware of, for example, University of Winchester, who enable that specialism within their generalist course.

Providers of Primary Physical Education:

  1. Anton  Andover Alliance
  2. Ashton on Mersey School SCITT
  3. Associated Merseyside Partnership SCITT
  4. Bishop Challenor TSA
  5. Blackfriars Teaching School Alliance
  6. Canterbury Teaching Alliance
  7. Hempstalls Primary School
  8. Knutsford Academy
  9. Leeds Beckett University
  10. Liverpool John Moores University
  11. North East Partnership SCITT
  12. Our Lady of Pity Catholic Primary School
  13. Outwood Institute of Education
  14. Painslet Teaching School Alliance
  15. Plymouth Teaching School Alliance School Direct
  16. Prenton Primary School Direct
  17. Seabridge Primary School
  18. Sheffield Hallum University
  19. Shirebrook Academy
  20. St Mary’s University, Twickenham
  21. St Marys Catholic Primary School
  22. The Heath School
  23. The Keele and North Staffordshire SCITT
  24. The Pilgram Partnership School Centred Teacher Training
  25. Thrive Teaching School Alliance
  26. University of Cumbria
  27. University of East London
  28. University of Worcester

The need for a network

It is great to see growing numbers of PE specialists in primary schools, and it is clear that this is something the DfE is still keen to promote.

Are we maximising the utilisation and collaboration of this growing group of individuals? And are the job opportunities and professional development opportunities there to support you?

We must consider the opportunity and connected pressures associated with:

  1. Optimum time to establish physical literacy and foundation of movement confidence, competence, motivation and understanding for all young people
  2. The current state of our children’s physical, social and emotional health and wellbeing and physical activity levels at an all time low
  3. Doubling of Primary PE and Sport Premium and associated expectations to include increased accountability to Ofsted and school governors around this ring-fenced spend
  4. Increased collaboration between schools with Multi Academy Trusts and Teaching School Alliances to help spread best practice

For me, teaching primary PE is the most fascinating stage in a person's physical development and attitude to physical activity. It is a moment in time where fears are abandoned and curiosity is at its highest so children are the most excited and willing to explore all ranges of movement and types of sport. Potential lies hidden away but as a primary PE and class teacher, I am the one privileged in unlocking that potential and setting each individual on the right pathway to their own success, not only in PE lessons but across the entire curriculum. 

The YST is invaluable in enriching teachers' practice so they can become more specialised in physical education. Their 'teacher friendly' resources can maximise impact with minimal output. Additionally, the YST supports the primary educationalist to understand how the effective teaching of PE is a tool for developing the whole child. By connecting practitioners through supportive networks, teachers feel confident to deliver high quality teaching which fully engages learners of all talents, interests and abilities.

Dan King - PE lead and Class Teacher at Corpus Christi Primary Bournemouth. PE  SCITT course leader at PCP 

Here at the Youth Sport Trust, we already have membership engagement from over 20% of schools nationally and through our contract with Sport England to manage the School Games we work with 89% of primary schools. We would love to act as a national conduit to connect you as a community to maximise learning and impact and keep you abreast of future developments, opportunities and resources that could be of value. Don’t miss out!

Please contact for more information.