Secondary Teacher Training Programme

Free training is now on offer to teachers in every secondary school to help foster a more positive attitude to PE

Twelve new homes for grassroots sport

We are investing £13.5million of National Lottery funding into a Secondary Teacher Training programme designed to provide teachers with 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 will 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 will 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 will be given a detailed overview of the programme, the chance to meet other participating TSAs/partnerships and can begin to think about how they will use the funding in their schools

They are 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

"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

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

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 are in a TSA or partnership of schools, and would like to be involved, please email with the following information:

  1. The name of your TSA or partnership
  2. The name of the school who will act as the ‘lead school’ for this programme, and its trading name (if different)
  3. The main contact we should liaise with - including their name, email address and direct line phone number
  4. A list of the secondary schools you plan to working with for the purposes of this programme, including their postcode and DfE 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 are happy to be involved in the programme before submitting this list.

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

Teachers/individual schools

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

If you are unsure whether you are in a TSA:

  • Please ask a member of your senior leadership team in the first instance
  • If you are still unsure, you can contact us and we will 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 are not a member of a TSA or other school partnership:

  • Please contact us and will 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.

Frequently Asked Questions?

We are not part of a TSA - how can we take part?

Please contact us, and we will 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 are 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.

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 are a Teaching School that is 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 is 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.

What type of school can take part?

Any school that educates secondary school aged students aged 11-16 years. 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 would be expected to meet the costs associated with their participation.  

Email for more information