school coach

Supporting guidance and FAQs

Supporting guidance

Supervision and management of coaches

The class teacher always maintains overall responsibility for what is taught and the conduct, health and well-being of the students.

Coaches must work under the direction and supervision of a nominated teacher and the teacher should manage the work of the coach at all times. This may include working at a distance from the nominated teacher once the headteacher has made an assessment of the coach’s competence to work remotely.

Good practice suggests that an appropriate agreed induction programme should be fulfilled.

The school should establish effective communication systems so that teachers and coaches understand their responsibilities and roles when teaching physical education.

Out of hours activities

Out of hours activities run directly by school staff or on behalf of the school are the responsibility of the Headteacher and governing body. The ratios will determined through risk assessment and will need to consider the age, ability, constituency, and maturity of the group; the competence of the staff; and the facilities available.

External coaches working in out of hours should meet the agreed minimum operating standards and ensure the pupil/coach ratio for sessions is in accordance with their coaching award and their National Governing Body guidelines.

Coaches working in activities that do not have a current recommended NGB should meet the standards above and, as a general rule, ratios should not exceed 1:20. It is also good practice to have two adults at any out of hours activity.

Where a school simply makes pupils aware of an opportunity to participate in a paid activity held on the school’s site but independent of the school’s responsibility then the external agency would have responsibility for the safety of those who opted to participate. It would be good practice for schools to use a Letting Contract which identifies the responsibilities of the Hirer and the School.


What are the minimum deployment requirements for coaches working in the curriculum?

Whether a coach is working in the curriculum or out of the curriculum the duty of care remains with the employer

The HT, as manager of the school, technically deploys all staff, whether on the school roll or visiting, and as such, it is their duty to ensure that all staff, including all support staff, are competent to fulfil the demands of the tasks to which they are deployed.

(‘Support staff’ is a term used in the Safe Practice in Physical Education, School Sport and Physical Activity publication (2016) and is for all adults, other than trainee teachers, without QTS who contribute to the teaching of pupils in schools. Support staff include regular staff on the school roll such as classroom assistants, teaching assistants, cover supervisors, learning mentors and volunteer parents, as well as visiting staff, whether occasional or regular contributors, such as coaches, and physical education apprentices.)

At no time should support staff displace a qualified teacher from the staffing roll. Their role is to complement the qualified teacher timetabled to a class. This is concurrent with the Regulations made under section 133 of the Education Act 2002, which aims to safeguard standards in the curriculum and preserve the role, status and overall responsibility of qualified teachers in schools.

The National Agreement, signed on 15 January 2003 between the Government, local government employers and school workforce unions states that teachers and support staff are not interchangeable and that each class or group for timetabled core and other foundation subjects and for religious education must be assigned a qualified teacher to teach them. Teachers are highly-skilled professionals whose expertise and judgement is essential to effective teaching. They make the leading contribution to teaching and learning, reflecting their training and expertise. Accountability for the overall learning outcomes of a particular pupil will rest with that pupil’s qualified classroom/subject teacher.

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