People tell us that a lack of confidence is the biggest challenge they face when teaching PE. Trainee primary school teachers receive just six hours of PE training before embarking on their teaching career. Using external specialists or coaches can be the perfect solution. A good school sports specialist or coach will help build knowledge, understanding and, most importantly, confidence. To get the most from this kind of support, it is important that you find a delivery partner that works WITH you and helps you to reach your goals.
Here are three things to consider when selecting a school sports partner or coach:
Set out what you want to achieve
What are your goals for PE, school sport and physical education (PESSPA) in your school? What support do you want your school sports provider or coach to provide? How will this support help you achieve your goal?
Be as specific as possible eg. I want to increase pupil activity levels across the whole school by introducing regular daily active bursts to make being active a normal part of everyday life. I need support to help my colleagues understand the importance of physical activity and how active bursts can support their non-PE lessons.
Knowing your goals will help you to choose the right partner, it will also help your partner understand where you are and where you want to get to. They will then be able to advise on the best approach or the best solution. You will also be able to keep track of how you are progressing towards your goal.
Evaluate the different options
You will likely find a number of different solutions to what you want to achieve. Take time to look at the provider/solution to understand the support that they can provide and how it will be delivered (eg online, face-to-face, mentoring, session delivery, idea sharing etc). Talk to schools that have used the provider previously. Check staff qualifications – how up-to-date are they with their training, for example.
Review the contract
Don’t get caught out by the small print. Make sure the contract outlines what service will be provided, who will be responsible for what, what does the sports provider/coach provide and what do you/the school need to make available? Check payment terms are in line with school/academy payment terms. What would happen if the provider/coach is unable to attend a session for some reason?