local government
primary & secondary education
voluntary sector

Raising Standards of Secondary School PE and Sport

local government

primary & secondary education

voluntary sector

08:45 - 15:40

Tuesday 14 May 2019

Central London

Early Bird Discount Offer

10% off all advertised rates for a limited time only. Discount available to public / voluntary organisations only


This Forum provides participants with an excellent opportunity to gain insights into how secondary schools can effectively deliver high-quality Physical Education (PE). Attendees will hear from the Association for Physical Education (AFPE) and other leading stakeholders on how best to utilise resources to deliver a robust PE curriculum and widen pupil access to sports. In addition, leading practitioners from schools and local authorities will share guidance on successfully increasing the profile of physical education across a school and boosting participation through developing school staff and partnering with local sport teams.


This Forum is specifically designed for Secondary Schools, Local Authorities and the Voluntary Sector.

Typical job titles will include:

  • Headteachers
  • Physical Education Teachers
  • Heads of Physical Education
  • Curriculum Leads
  • Heads of Healthy Living
  • Health Improvement Specialists
  • Heads of Catering Services
  • Public Health Consultants
  • Education Improvement Advisors
  • Sports Partnership Managers
  • Assistant Headteachers
  • Deputy Headteachers
  • Principals
  • Vice Principals

This Forum is also open to the Private Sector in order to encourage networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Sue Wilkinson MBE, CEO and Chair, Association for Physical Education (AFPE)
  • Heather Douglas, Head of Participation, UK Coaching
  • Stuart Kay, Schools Director, Youth Sport Trust
  • Chris Wright, Head of Health & Wellbeing, Youth Sport Trust
View the agenda and additional speakers


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Harvey Grout, Lecturer in Physical Education and Subject Leader in PGCE Secondary PE, University of Reading (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Exploring the Government’s Action Plan for Improving Sports in School

  • Outlining the key proposals in the ‘School Sport Action Plan’, which looks to support schools to improve their PE provision, such as the ‘Active Lives Children Survey’ to measure how children and young people engage with sport and physical activity
  • Examining how schools can access £9 million worth of funding to provide tailored support for disadvantaged children to stay healthy and active during the school holidays
  • Highlighting how the government encourages and supports schools to develop partnerships with leading sporting organisations and local authorities to improve PE standards such as through County Sports Partnerships
  • Sharing updates on the ‘Review of GCSE, AS and A-level Physical Education Activity List’ consultation and advising on which steps should be taken next in secondary schools

Senior Representative, Disadvantage Team, Department for Education (invited)


Special Keynote: Effectively Training Teachers to Develop a Quality PE Curricula in Secondary Schools

  • Outlining AfPE’s teaching training pilot project which formed a national programme offering specialist training and mentoring to at least two teachers in every secondary school in England by 2020
  • Sharing updates from the association’s experience of partnering with Sport England on delivering a £13.5 million teacher training project, including the impact it had on enhancing the quality of PE and sport that secondary schools offer
  • Reflecting on the success and drawbacks of the UK pilot project launched in April 2018 which formed a national programme offering specialist training and mentoring to at least two teachers in every secondary school in England by 2020
  • Examining the lessons learnt from the pilot project so far, including sharing several best practice examples of support packages received by schools involved in the programme
  • Detailing the AfPE’s next steps to address secondary schools cutting timetabled PE for 14-16-year-olds since 2012, as outlined in AfPE’s Strategic Plan

Sue Wilkinson MBE, CEO, Chief Executive Officer, Association for Physical Education (AfPE) (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Supporting Secondary Schools to Raise Their Standards of PE and Sport

  • Using Youth Personalities developed in Sport England’s ‘Under the Skin’ Research to help Secondary Schools to understand the attitudes and motivations of all of their young people
  • Creating community sport satellite clubs to engage previously inactive young people on both school sites and in community venues
  • Exploring the success of Active Lives for Children and Young People Survey; a world leading project that is helping us to truly understand attitudes and behaviours of young people towards sport and physical activity
  • Highlighting how London Sport aid teachers to find solutions using the innovative School Sport Supplier Hub; the first ever Hub of its kind allowing for efficiency in searching for suppliers and highlighting how it gained support from Sport England, the Department of Health, the Department of Education and others
  • Working with national governing bodies of sport and sports tech start -up companies to create innovative solutions that appeal to previously inactive young people

Gary Palmer, Specialist Advisor, Children and Young People, London Sport (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Effectively Improving a Schools PE and Sports Curricula within a Multi-academy Trust

Dawn Haywood, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Education Director, Windsor Academy Trust (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Addressing the Challenges and Future Priorities For Raising PE Standards

  • Outlining the solutions proposed for repositioning PE at the centre of the secondary curriculum including benchmarking the state of PE, repositioning the subject with the PE profession and developing wellbeing networks
  • Reflecting on the key challenges from the Sports Changes Lives strategic plan for 2013-2018 including children not engaging in enough physical activity, mental health issues, low resilience and confidence and the pressure of social media, exam stress and high youth unemployment
  • Reviewing the key objectives for secondary schools in the 2018-2022 strategy including transforming PE, removing barriers to sport, unlocking the potential of sports for disadvantaged children, empowering local activism, championing insight and strengthening foundations to sustain the mission
  • Exploring how YST support schools to develop innovative approaches to improve PE, by establishing the PE CatalYST network, allowing teachers to share best practice examples of outstanding teaching

Stuart Kay, Schools Director, Youth Sport Trust (CONFIRMED)

Chris Wright, Head of Health & Wellbeing, Youth Sport Trust (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Improving Secondary School PE Through Exceptional Coaching

  • Examining the process of employing and developing coaches, including highlighting the benefits that coaches bring in supporting school sport and student experience
  • Outlining the process and support available to help secondary schools recruit the right coach, including online tools such as recruitment templates and safe recruitment guidance
  • Examining how secondary schools can effectively utilise coaches, including how to perform a school sport and physical activity review and combining sports with academic work via a literacy framework
  • Highlighting the positive impact coaches can have on improving physical education and sports, including increased participation and future partnerships with community sports teams

Heather Douglas, Head of Participation, UK Coaching (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Helping Develop Teachers Who Plan and Deliver High-quality PE and School Sport

  • Introduce the England FA DNA for 12-16 year olds and the FA Secondary Teachers’ Award
  • Share knowledge and key themes of high-quality PE planning and delivery at secondary schools, including:
    • Holistic development – not just a focus on the physical and technical areas
    • Managing difference and including girls
    • Game-based learning – engaging, inclusive lessons which achieve high levels of activity

Mark Carter, Regional PE Co-ordinator for London, England Football Association (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Effectively Establishing a Robust Partnership Between Schools and Sport Clubs

  • Providing advice on how to forge a Club-School link through effective and regular communications between a school and the club of choice, creating structured activities for pupils at school and getting pupils to participate in club sport
  • Sharing best practice examples of successful ‘Club-School links’ with schools for instance, forming a Junior Development Programme Team in a community with the aim of encouraging pupils to continue playing sports after leaving school
  • Outlining the benefits of a Club-School link for pupils including better opportunities for school children, more active and healthy pupils, increased awareness of exit routes for participants and access to expert coaches at schools
  • Exploring the benefits of a link for schools and teachers including raising the school’s reputation locally, access to extra sporting facilities and to Continuing Professional Development for teachers

Steve Turner, London & Hertfordshire Relationship Manager, England Hockey (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Ensuring Secondary School PE and Sports Helps Tackle Mental-ill Health

  • Emphasising the significance of PE and sport in reducing mental health problems among young people, which is paramount after considering that approximately 50% of all adult mental health issues start in adolescence
  • Calling on schools to tackle mental ill-health early, enabling other parts of a whole-school approach, for instance, increasing pupil’s activity in sports teams and clubs builds resilience and decreases depressive symptoms
  • Highlighting how excellent PE increases self-esteem, especially for students in lower sets by reflecting on ‘Jonny’s story’, a case study of a child who successfully gained confidence and therefore improved his overall performance
  • Exploring the future of PE and Sports in Secondary School including ensuring PE is a compulsory option and at the forefront of the curriculum through daily physical activities

Dr Kristy Howells, Director of Physical Education, Physical Activity and School Sport within the Faculty of Education, Canterbury Christ Church University (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Closing Remarks

*programme subject to change

According to Sports England’s December 2018 Active Lives Children and Young People’s Survey’, 2.3 million children and young people (32.9%) undertake less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day. Furthermore, according to Public Health England’s ‘Childhood Obesity: Applying All Our Health’ guidance, 1 in 3 children are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school, which makes it more challenging for secondary school PE teachers to ensure their lessons are inclusive.

In response to this growing issue, the government announced its ‘School Sport Action Plan’ in October 2018. The strategy aims to ensure all children have access to a world class education and outlines guidance to support schools on how to deliver high-quality physical education. In addition, the plan looks to ensure that pupils take part in the sport and physical activity during the summer holidays and ensure pupils undertake the most suitable activities for them. The action plan, which is set to launch in Spring 2019, will also link into the current ‘Sporting Future Strategy, Childhood Obesity Plan’ and provide a starting point to shape a legacy from the Commonwealth Games, which will be taking place in Birmingham in 2022. Furthermore, Sports England invested £13.5 million into a teacher training programme in partnership with the Teaching School Council, supporting offering 17,000 secondary school PE teachers free training to help foster a more positive attitude to physical education.

The onus now falls on secondary schools across England to utilise government support to raise the profile of physical education across their schools and increase sport participation for Key Stage 3 and 4. Failure by schools to develop engaging PE curriculums, innovative after-school activities and invest in teacher/coaching training could see an entire generation of young pupils miss out on learning vital leadership, health and lifestyle skills needed throughout life.

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