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Secondary teacher training programme

Free training for teachers in every secondary school to help foster a more positive attitude to PE.

Teacher training talking to the class

We’re investing £13.5 million of National Lottery funding into a secondary teacher training programme designed to give teachers access to professional development, as well as put pupil’s enjoyment and whole-school outcomes at the heart of PE and school sport.

While some youngsters have a great experience of PE and sport at school, others don’t, and our research shows that can put them off being active for life.

Lots of people have bad memories of being picked last for a team, or just feeling really uncomfortable in PE lessons. This programme is designed to stop that happening.

It’ll help schools and individual teachers design a wider range of opportunities to increase young people’s enjoyment of sport and PE, which gives them a much better chance of being active in later life. And it’ll do this by giving teachers the resources and training they need to engage all pupils in physical activity, regardless of sporting ability.

How does the programme work?

Funding is distributed via the network of Teaching School Alliances (TSA) and other appropriate school partnerships. TSAs and partnerships are awarded £3,350 for every secondary school included in their project.

TSAs/partnerships are invited to a national orientation day, where they'll be given a detailed overview of the programme, the chance to meet other participating TSAs/partnerships and can begin to think about how they'll use the funding in their schools

They're then given free support by an expert consultant from either the Youth Sport Trust or Association for Physical Education over three academic terms to plan a project based on the needs of their staff and students, access relevant mentoring and training, implement the project in schools and measure the impact of their work.

What can the funding be used for?

It’s a fully flexible programme – our funding can also be used to upskill teachers, improve the quality and breadth of PE, and develop schools’ PE offer so that it acts as a lever for wider educational outcomes. We encourage projects that:  

  • Develop pupils’ mental wellbeing, confidence and resilience through PE, school sport and physical activities that prioritise pupil enjoyment
  • Create opportunities for all pupils – including those who don’t like PE – to try new activities (such as non-traditional sports and fitness classes) so they can discover ways to be physically active that work for them
  • Explore how PE, school sport and physical activity can contribute to, or complement, core curriculum subjects by finding ways to bring activity into other subjects' lessons.

What the pilot schools thought

Impington Village College, Cambridge

"Sport England’s Secondary Teacher Training programme allows schools to be creative and ambitious, and in being so they can do something meaningful to help improve PE for their students."

Thomas Gainsborough School, Sudbury

"The programme created a buzz around the department. Sport England has created a programme that could have an unbelievable impact on students."

Teacher training class

What impact is the programme having?

Our pilot phase, which launched in spring 2018 with 38 schools across England, has shown that:

  • This funding has enabled students to have greater choice in what activities they do in PE and how competitive they want to be
  • More than half of the students surveyed enjoyed PE more than last year, with more than 90% experiencing new activities in PE
  • Teachers reported an increased perception of the importance of PE and physical education in school, and a greater number of teachers agree that they have a responsibility to discuss and encourage physical activity.


How can schools get involved?

TSAs and school partnerships

If you’re in a TSA or partnership of schools, and would like to be involved, please email us with the following information:

  1. The name of your TSA or partnership

  2. The name of the school: The name of the school who’ll act as the ‘lead school’ for this programme, and its trading name (if different).

  3. The main contact: The main contact we should liaise with – including their name, email address and direct line phone number.

  4. A list of secondary schools: A list of the secondary schools you plan to work with for the purposes of this programme, including their postcode and Department for Education URN. This is usually the secondary schools already within your TSA or partnership, but you can include others if you wish. Please confirm with the schools in question that they’re happy to be involved in the programme before submitting this list.

Once we've received your expression of interest you’ll be added to the next phase of the programme.

Teachers/individual schools

Any schools or teachers who'd like to take part should contact their TSA and ask them to submit an expression of interest on their behalf.

If you're unsure whether you are in a TSA:

  • Please ask a member of your senior leadership team in the first instance
  • If you're still unsure, you can contact us and we'll direct you (wherever possible) to a TSA in your region, or to other schools in your area that also wish to sign up, so you can discuss a potential partnership.

If you're not a member of a TSA or other school partnership, please contact us and we'll direct you (wherever possible) to a TSA or partnership in your region that you may be able to join for the purposes of this programme.

The deadline to express interest is 5pm on 23 October.


We've also produced a poster and a range of infographics that promote the many benefits of PE for pupils. 

Please download the below files to use at your school.

Frequently asked questions

  • We're not part of a TSA - how can we take part?

    Please contact us, and we’ll direct you (wherever possible) to a TSA in your region or to other schools in your area that also wish to sign up, so you can discuss a potential partnership.

    We’re also willing to work with other established school partnerships. Please still get in touch if you have other partnerships with schools in your area and wish to explore the viability of joining the programme.

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  • We aren't the lead school in our TSA - how do we register our interest?

    Please contact the lead school in your TSA who can express their interest in the way set out above.
  • My school is affiliated to more than one TSA – how will we know which TSA works for this programme?

    Your school can decide which TSA to work with for this programme. Please note that we will not fund a school taking part in more than one TSA’s project.
  • We're a Teaching School that’s a primary school, but have secondary schools in our TSA – are we eligible?

    Yes, as the lead Teaching School for your TSA you can apply to be part of the programme. However, the funding awarded can only include, and be able to benefit, secondary schools. A non-secondary TSA lead school can claim funding from the award to coordinate the project.

    If the lead teaching school in a TSA is not deemed the most appropriate school to lead this work (perhaps because it’s not a secondary school or perhaps because there are schools in the TSA that have a stronger track record of delivery in PE and sport), the TSA can take the decision for another school to lead the project.

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  • What type of school can take part?

    Any school that educates secondary school students aged 11-16. Primary schools, middle schools, sixth form or further education colleges are not eligible.

    Independent schools can participate but are not able to receive funding. The funding formula of £3,350 per participating school is based on the number of state secondary schools in England. Should an independent school wish to participate, they’d be expected to meet the costs associated with their participation.

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  • What happens if we are unable to meet deadlines due to disruption because of coronavirus such as local lockdowns and school closures?

    It's become increasingly clear that disruption from the coronavirus crisis will affect secondary schools for a significant length of time. We'll try to be as flexible as possible, adapting and revising timings and delivery where needed.

Contact us

For more information on the teacher training programme, get in touch by clicking the button below. 

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