Press release: New sports coach website launched for primary schools

A new website has been launched today (10 March 2015) to help primary schools recruit and develop sports coaches using more than £450 million of funding set up to secure an Olympic legacy.

British athlete Bianca Williams – winner of 2 bronze medals for England in last summer’s Commonwealth Games – attended the launch event in west London.

Primary schools across England are receiving more than £150 million a year from the government to improve PE and sport, with a typical 250-pupil primary school getting around £9,000 a year.

The Coaching in Schools Portal – unveiled by Sports Coach UK – will provide advice for headteachers on how to recruit, develop and use coaches effectively using the government funding.

To coincide with the launch, Sport England has produced some short films to illustrate how schools can use the funding.

Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson – who features in one of the films – said that the PE and sport premium had already helped to transform school sport.

We want all primary school children to play and enjoy sport, so they keep up the healthy habit for life.

Our PE and sport premium is helping to transform PE lessons – and enabling schools to hire extra coaches, buy new equipment and run free after-school classes.

I’m delighted to launch a new sports coach website for schools – and take part in the guidance films – to give headteachers advice on how to make good use of coaches.

So far, headteachers have used the funding to recruit extra specialist PE teachers and train up staff – as well as buying new equipment and offering a wider selection of sports clubs.

Two-thirds of schools (67%) have used the funding to bring in new sports coaches.

Research has shown that schools have used the PE and sport premium – worth more than £450 million over 3 years – to deliver more and better sport. Primary schools are now doing an average of 122 minutes of PE each week, up 13 minutes from the year before the funding was brought in.

British athlete Bianca Williams, who attended the launch event today at Berrymede Junior School in Acton, west London, said:

PE and school sport isn’t just about nurturing future champions. It’s about building the fundamental movement skills that enable young people to take part in physical activity and find something to inspire them for an active life.

PE and sport have also given me a range of skills which I can apply in other aspects of my life – teamwork, communication, resilience and the ability to persevere when things go wrong. So it’s vital that we get it right in primary schools.

John Driscoll, Executive Director of Sports Coach UK, said:

We’re pleased that the majority of primary schools are using specialist sports coaches to support their teachers in the delivery of PE and sport.

We know that identifying, recruiting and deploying the right coach is a tough task.

The Coaching in Schools Portal is a free source of objective advice on everything headteachers and PE co-ordinators need to recruit and deploy coaches to support their staff, effectively and sustainably.

The PE and sport premium, introduced in 2013, goes directly to primary school headteachers so that they can decide how best to use it to provide PE and sporting activities for pupils.

Research has shown that 9 out of 10 schools have already improved the quality of their PE lessons as a result of the funding – and more than 90% reported improvements in children’s health, behaviour and lifestyle.

Notes to editors

  1. The series of films was funded by Sport England.
  2. The films and the Coaching in Schools Portal were developed by Sport England, the Association for Physical Education, Youth Sport Trust, County Sports Partnership Network, Sports Coach UK and Compass.

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