It was over 10 years ago, that I fulfilled my dream of training to be a secondary school PE teacher.  Little did I know that I would spend the greatest amount of my time in primary education and ultimately, find my true passion.  However, I feel that if initial teacher training and PE (ITT) for primary teachers had been what it should, I’d never have stepped through the front door of our campus primary school back in 2002.  Sadly, it appears not much has changed in the proceeding 15 years.

Initial teacher training and PE

At 22 and fresh out of university I was sent as a ‘specialist’ to work within the primary school and help train the staff.  As an NQT because I’d only just learned these skills for myself, I felt ill-equipped to lead others.  Who was I to tell a professional of 30 years how to teach a lesson?!

This was not the first time I was part of the ‘training’ of new teachers.  During my PGCE we had practical sessions covering the rules, skills, and teaching practices of the main activity areas such as invasion games and gymnastics.  One afternoon we were told that we would be teaching the primary PGCE students to play hockey…and this was to complete their 4 hours of PE as a foundation subject.   4 hours of students teaching students.

Changes in initial teacher training

While conducting research for my blog, I was interested to see what changes had occurred in initial teacher training and PE. I looked at 3 universities that run the PGCE and Teach First routes.  First of all, I expected to see a huge amount of change because of the recent investment in schools for PE, sport, and physical activity.  Maybe the government is now insisting institutions prepare their students better?

University of Wolverhampton ‘Introduction to foundations’

University of Cambridge  ‘Two half-day visits’

University of Hull  ‘4 half days’

PE is different from other foundations subjects due to its practical nature; so in my next blog, I will explore these differences.  The blog will cover ways in which new teachers can prepare themselves to overcome these obstacles to delivering PE.

If your school needs planning for both new and experienced staff, take a look at what we do at The PE Hub our lesson plans and schemes of work offer support across a wide range of PE activities.

Enter your details to receive information on how we work with schools & organisations like yours. Or if you have a question, either contact us or fill out the form below. 

On 28 February, the DfE announced a new initiative called the Healthy Pupils Capital Programme. Money is to be handed to Local Authorities and larger Academy Trusts for one off capital build projects.  It will be the job of these bodies to distribute funding to support improving facilities in schools across England.

Funding for schools ‘doubled’

Many of us have been waiting on further details of how the ‘sugar tax’ or Soft Drinks Industry Levy will be distributed.  Over a year ago we were told by the government that this tax would double the amount of money schools currently receive for their PE and sport premium.  Currently, 100% of the premium goes direct to schools to use for staff CPD and to increase out of school hours clubs.

I’ve talked to several PE professionals over the past few days and there is confusion about how this ‘new’ funding will be shared.  The DfE’s announcement doesn’t clearly lay out what schools will receive going forward, and refers to ‘more details published this year’.

Handing control back to head teachers

Head teachers know what is best for their school, so handing back control on use of funds in recent years has been a positive.  Individual academies and smaller trusts can bid for funding. I can’t help but think giving huge sums of money to local authorities and even academy trusts is a step backwards.

Healthy Pupils capital – Funding guarantee

Education Secretary, Justin Greening says the £415 million set aside to secure children’s health is guaranteed, even if the sugar levy fails to generate the income predicted.  It is hoped this money can help extend the school day to increase pupils’ opportunities to participate in activity.  It also aims to support mental health needs of children as well as the physical.

If you would like to read more on this subject head over to the DfE’s page.

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