Buckinghamshire study shows lack of PE teacher confidence

Conference responds to new research findings that primary PE teachers feel unqualified and want more training

Although almost 90% of primary teachers acknowledge that PE is as important as other subjects, many lack confidence in teaching the subject, according to new research from the University of Buckinghamshire. Helping teachers who struggle to teach PE feel more confident about their abilities to deliver outstanding physical activity will be a major focus of ‘The Future of PE & School Sports’ conference from Optimus Education.

The research, based on a survey of 400 primary teachers, revealed that 28% of primary teachers do not feel qualified to teach PE and more than 50% want more professional development in the subject. 

Leading sporting speakers to inspire teachers

With over 40% of the teachers in the survey believing that their students do not enjoy PE lessons, two inspirational sports speakers will give the conference keynote speech. Perri Shakes-Drayton, Olympian and the UK’s number one 400m hurdler, and her award-winning coach Chris Zah, will share their secrets on motivating young people. They’ll be passing on their respective experiences and views on making sport enjoyable for every student and developing the athletes of the future.

A more student-centred approach to PE

The researchers found that more than a third of children leave primary school disliking physical activity, so developing a more student-centred approach to teaching and learning is crucial. 

Conference speaker Dr Vicky Goodyear, a leading PE professional, will suggest ways that teachers can easily implement high-impact innovation into their lessons: “You need to find out how it works for you, your students’ responses, and how the innovation or approach might need to be adapted in your classroom.  It’s also important to find time for planning and to collaborate with others – implementing something new is much more difficult if you do it alone.”

With recent research from the Youth Sports Trust showing that nearly a quarter of children see playing computer games as exercise, excellent PE teaching is crucial if young people are going to develop a lifelong enjoyment of physical activity. Conference organiser Sara Boomsma said:  “It’s clear that many primary teachers aren’t at all confident about teaching PE in a way that their pupils enjoy, so we’re aiming for a combination of outstanding sporting speakers to inspire them and PE specialists to give them exciting, innovative strategies to teach this important subject.”


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