For expert advice call us now on: 01508 491628

Primary PE Leaders

Primary PE Leaders – support for YOU

The role of Physical Education Subject Leader is perhaps one of the most challenging roles with so many external pressures making demands on your time and for your funding! To help we have put down a few of what we feel are the real non-negotiables of leading the subject in Primary Schools that deal with every pupil as they focus on the curriculum to ensure that this is moving in the right direction before looking outward.

Here are some basics that need to be right before looking to increase competition participation or buying expensive resources from a shiny flier in our opinion. We talk about them as reaching for the STARS – a simple way to remember and present them. STARS stands for:

Staff Skills

Teaching & Learning


Risk Assessment / Management

Supporting Staff

Remember that this is just a starter, a direction to get you started – part of any ‘storming’ phase or actions for the first 100 days etc.

Staff PE Skills Audit:

Conduct a simple staff PE skills audit to establish a benchmark of need and where staff feel that they lack confidence and competence in planning, teaching and assessing PE. This will allow you to target and prioritise continued professional development (CPD) to ensure staff start to feel supported, confident and competent to teach high quality PE.

Here is a simple editable template that you can use or adapt to suit your needs.

Staff PE skills Audit Template –      Staff PE Skills Auditv2024

Top Tip: Ask if you can have 10-15 mins at a staff meeting to briefly outline the rationale and for staff to focus upon it and complete it there and then. This avoids the extra work of having to chase staff colleagues up for their audit after any set deadline.

Teaching & Learning: Planning

Many staff may well lack the knowledge, understanding and training to know what and how to plan effectively for PE. Over the years this has been our experience and providing something that is easy to access, comprehensive and straight forward can be an initial game-changer for colleagues. Have a look at the scheme of work that your school has in place, or doesn’t. Putting something in place or updating an outdated scheme can provide staff with a confidence boost and engaging them in any decision about a new scheme can be well worth the effort and go a long way to helping to create the right positive environment for PE improvements to happen. The three schemes listed below are, from our experience of working across schools in England and talking with staff in schools, the ones which we feel most comfortable presenting to you. They will offer FREE trials and in this period of time, you can engage staff in looking at the scheme, trying lessons from it etc. to see which they find suits their pupils needs the best. Engage them in the decision and then it can be a group decision making it easier to ensure that staff follow and engage with it once purchased.

  • Get Set 4 PE – ClickHERE   [Get Set 4 Education is the home page for both Get Set 4 PE and Get Set 4 Music]
  • The PE Hub – Click HERE
  • Primary PE Planning – Click HERE

Like many things, this will need to be monitored by you in terms of staff usage, coverage and impact to start. Monitoring is not part of the STARS acronym but is part of the next steps and a vital part of your role moving forward – Monitoring and Evaluating.

Adapting Planning for the Pupils – Supporting Staff with a Simple Framework for Adapting PE to Include and Challenge

Staff on the whole lack training and support in teaching PE – despite the millions invested through PE and sport premium. Show them how to use the S.T.E.P. Framework to help ensure that they can adapt their lessons and teaching activities to be inclusive and also to how they can use the framework to challenge pupils. This easy-to-use framework is a great tool for every teacher to know and understand, it can be applied across any area of activity, any age etc.

The STEP Frameworka resource for PE Subject Leaders    STEP Framework v2024Resource

Don’t forget to show how it can be used to challenge pupils too – making tasks harder or more challenging, adapting equipment so that it moves faster, travels further etc. If you need any help with delivering a staff CPD session to embed this valuable, and in many ways, essential framework you can contact us as we provide staff CPD sessions to schools, colleges, teacher training organisations. Contact us by email en*******@vi******.uk or by phone: 01508 491628

Risk Assessments / Risk Management

If you are new to the role, see what there is in terms of Risk Assessments for PE. There is a legal requirement to have them and they need to be known and shared with all those affected by the arrangements in place to manage risk. This includes the pupils.

You can also talk to your schools EVC – Educational Visits Co-ordinator who can help with the process in terms of risk management for off-site visits, fixtures etc., school swimming sessions, residentials.

We strongly recommend that every school has access to guidance produced by the subject’s professional association – AfPE – The Association for Physical Education. You can click on the link below to visit their site and look at the guidance that they produce on Safe Practice in PE, School Sport and Physical Activity. This is a must in our opinion.

Association for Physical Education – afPE website

You should also have all your fixed and portable equipment inspected annual to ensure safe practice. AfPE again produce a rationale as to why which can help explain this to senior managers if not in place, as well as key partners whom they approve to conduct these annual inspections.

Annual Maintenance Inspections – afPE

If you need any help or support in writing and creating the appropriate documentation, editing what is in place etc. then again do fee free to contact us as we can provide CPD for you to fulfil this aspect of the role. Email us – en*******@vi******.uk or by phone: 01508 491628.

Supporting Staff to Sustain High-Quality PE

If you have staff who are working as coaches, instructors, cover supervisors, HLTA’s and take PE lessons at your school, then do look at how you can invest in them to ensure that they are skilled, competent and confident to plan, deliver and assess high-quality PE for ALL pupils. We recommend that staff who do not have QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) should have as a minimum requirement a Level 3 national qualification, ideally in ‘Teaching Primary PE’ as opposed to simply ‘supporting’ it. The reason? If they are going to be acting as a teacher essentially then ensure that they can plan (adapt planning), teach and assess physical education in a primary school. This will afford higher standards and help provide sustainable solutions to improved quality of PE at the same time as perhaps ensuring effective PPA cover. Below is a link to our qualification for just this purpose, proven, accessible and a tool to build quality and sustainability.

National Qualification in Teaching and Learning in Primary PE (Level 3 RQF)

This course is also highly appropriate for considering any staff who currently work in your school who could step up into a specialist role to provide PPA cover or raise standards.

 – Invest in Supporting YOU

You are also important! You are going to be ‘Leading’ this subject! If your background is not as a specialist physical education teacher then please consider gaining the CPD to help you lead with authority, understanding, empathy and passion – your pupils deserve this. We provide a national qualification which takes you through the role in its entirety, helping you to save time and energy through guided, scaffolded learning, providing adaptable templates, examples of good practice, reflective tasks etc. This is a qualification which is now accessed by staff in schools as far away as China, Spain and Germany for example. Proven, fit for purpose, accessible and with unlimited tutor support it guides you through every aspect of the role, Feedback can cater for the wide range of scenarios and situations out in schools as well as the adaptability and experience of the tutor to provide expert guidance too. Click on the link below to see more details:

National Qualification in Leadership and Management in Primary Physical Education (Level 4 RQF)


VisionED is all about the curriculum physical education which 100% of your pupils receive. We believe that they are entitled to a high-quality experience in PE which inspires them ALL to succeed and excel. We are here to help and can be contacted at any time to discuss how we can help you achieve this for your pupils, with your staff and your facilities etc.