Over the past two years the Health and Safety team have answered many questions put by members. One of the most frequently asked is about who can teach Physical Education, particularly in the primary school.

A set of nationally recognised professional standards for those coaching children have been recently established by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) on behalf of Sport England. Work has been focused by national partners on the minimum standards required to deploy sports coaches working outside of the curriculum. The aim is to help drive the quality of coaching delivered to young people. They do not relate to the delivery of curriculum PE as this should be teacher led.As the Association for PE write in their Safe Practice 2016 publication;

‘…the class teacher always maintains overall responsibility for what is taught and coaches must work under the direction and supervision of a nominated teacher’. 

All out of hours activities delivered directly by school staff or on behalf of the school are the responsibility of the Headteacher and governing body. Headteachers always need to ensure they are complying with their employers’ requirements regarding qualifications and evidence of coach competence. This will necessitate working to the employers’ minimum operating standards, which all coaches must meet. If a member of staff is not competent to undertake the responsibility placed on them, but has been placed in that situation by the employer, or by the employer’s representative (e.g. a head teacher [HT]), the employer may be directly liable for any negligence. 

This recent update once again highlights the importance of being fully aware of the strengths and weaknesses of all adults delivering PESSPA in your school. If you are not confident in the checks and information you should be aware of and hold about sports coaches who work with your pupils, you may like to consider joining our  ‘Effective use of Coaches course.