Physical Education Ofsted Inspection Guidance

Ofsted released two updated documents in April 2014 regarding the inspection guidance for Physical Education within Primary and Secondary Schools:

  1. Physical Education Survey Visits – supplementary subject-specific guidance for inspectors on making judgments during visits to schools.
  2. Inspecting Primary School PE and School Sport – new funding guidance.

A full copy of each document can be downloaded via the attachments at the bottom of this post.

The Physical Education survey visits document provides guidance on what inspectors will be looking for in relation to the follow five areas:

  • Overall effectiveness of the subject
  • Achievement of pupils in the subject
  • Quality of teaching in the subject
  • Quality of the subject curriculum
  • Quality of leadership in, and management of the subject

In each category schools will be assessed with regards to the following judgement system:

  1. Outstanding
  2. Good
  3. Requires Improvement
  4. Inadequate

A summary of the overall effectiveness of Physical Education

Outstanding Characteristics

  • Teaching in PE is outstanding
  • Rich and relevant PE curriculum
  • Broad extra-curricular sports programme
  • Outstanding learning, physical development, participation and achievement by pupils
  • Outstanding leadership of PE ensures that pupils, and particular groups of pupils, have excellent educational experiences in lessons and in extra-curricular sport
  • Rigorous monitoring and evaluation ensures that practice consistently reflects the highest expectations of staff and the highest aspirations for all pupils, including disabled pupils or those with special educational needs, those for whom the Pupil Premium provides support and the most able
  • Good practice is spread effectively in a drive for continuous improvement
  • PE makes an outstanding contribution to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development

Inadequate Characteristics
PE in the school is likely to be inadequate if inspectors judge any of the following to be inadequate:

  • the achievement of pupils in PE
  • the behaviour and safety of pupils in PE
  • the quality of teaching in PE
  • the quality of the curriculum in PE
  • the quality of the leadership in, and management of PE.

The new guidance on inspecting primary school PE and school sport with regards to the new primary school sports funding

Schools are free to determine how best to use this funding with the aim to either:

  • Improve the quality and breadth of PE and sport provision
  • Increasing participation in PE and sport so that all pupils develop healthy lifestyles and reach the performance levels they are capable of.

Some examples of how schools are intending to use this funding include:

  • Paying the most effective teachers an enhanced allowance to lead improvements in PE and school sport and provide staff training on how to teach PE well
  • Employing specialist PE teachers or qualified coaches to work alongside teachers in lessons to increase their subject knowledge and confidence in PE
  • Employing a specialist teacher or providing professional development for staff to lead after-school sports clubs for disabled pupils and those with special educational needs
  • Providing cover staff to release teachers for professional development in PE and sport
  • Procuring quality-assured professional training for staff to raise their confidence and competence in teaching PE and sport
  • Paying staff or external sports coaches to run competitions, or to increase pupils’ participation in national school games competitions
  • Quality assuring the work of sports coaches and instructors employed to coach in PE lessons and after-school sports clubs
  • Buying into existing local sports networks such as school sport partnerships or community sports coaching initiatives
  • Pooling funding with other local schools to employ a specialist teacher to train existing teachers and teach PE across a cluster of schools
  • Pooling funding to employ qualified teaching assistants to provide regular sports tournaments, festivals and competitions for pupils of all ages
  • Employing expert advice to evaluate the school’s current strengths and weaknesses in PE and sport, and implement plans for improvement
  • Providing places for pupils in after-school sport clubs and holiday courses
  • Engaging the least active pupils in after school activities, for example ‘Change4Life’ after school clubs
  • Providing high-quality training for volunteers, parents and carers, governors and adults other than teachers to run sports teams, after school clubs and assist in organising large school sports events
  • Providing training and payment for midday supervisors to introduce playground games at breaks and lunchtimes
  • Employing a local coach to provide weekly after-school sport on the school site and at the local club in the evenings, weekends and school holidays
  • Forging links with PE teachers in local secondary schools to help primary staff improve their PE and sports provision
  • Establishing strong, sustainable partnerships with local community sports clubs where no links have been made in the past
  • Establishing a house system to enable regular, inter-house sports competitions for pupils of all ages
  • Paying for transport, pool hire and instruction to provide additional swimming lessons (as opposed to existing arrangements made by schools to teach swimming as part of the national curriculum) for those pupils unable to swim by the end of Year 6
  • Providing extra, additional activities such as outdoor and adventurous activities
  • Introducing new initiatives such as basic movement skills in the Early Years Foundation Stage, or developing young sports leaders in Key Stage 2
  • Purchasing specialist equipment and teaching resources to develop a non-traditional activity such as rhythmic gymnastics or a new sport such as competitive cycling
  • Providing pupils who are gifted and talented in sport with expert, intensive coaching and support

Although it is at the discretion of a school as to how they spend their funding it is important that the details of how this funding had been spent is visible on the school website. Wherever possible, sustainability and maximising/measuring the impact of this funding should be considered when allocating funds to sport and physical education projects.


Photo: Guernsey Sports

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