Returning to School after COVID-19

In March 2020, schools closed their doors to the majority of their pupils and further restrictions were introduced in response to Covid-19. The aim of this report was to understand the current provision of both timetabled and extracurricular PE and any barriers to delivery, particularly in the light of ongoing Government guidelines and restrictions (e.g. maintaining class bubbles, cleaning and changing rules etc.), so that we can continue to support teachers and children during these challenging times.

Teachers are identifying a number of issues as children return to school, which PE could help to

  • Almost three quarters of teachers are reporting that children are returning with low levels of physical fitness and almost half have noticed mental wellbeing issues.
  • Whilst the majority of teachers will deliver the same amount of curriculum PE as pre-COVID, some schools will deliver less or even none this term (26% of KS4 will deliver less or none).
  • The majority of schools will be delivering all practical or mostly practical PE with some theory.
  • Around four in ten schools will be delivering no extracurricular PE in the Autumn term and additionally, around half of schools will be delivering less than before.

Logistical issues relating to the delivery of PE in schools are the biggest barrier/issue for teachers and are cited as reasons for the reduction in PE and extracurricular delivery:

  • The current guidelines and restrictions make it more difficult to deliver PE, particularly having to stay in class bubbles, the need for cleaning, and having staggered breaks/lunches.
  • There is a cautiousness around interpreting the guidelines correctly e.g. how to deliver team sports, indoor PE, delivery within/across bubbles. More clarity and guidance in this area could help to alleviate concerns and potentially open up more opportunities for PE in schools.

Returning to School after COVID-19

Here you can download the full report.

Published on 1 September 2020