Requirements for PE teachers

Unqualified teachers and support staff can lead PE lessons as long as other requirements are met. Read expert advice covering insurance, after-school clubs, and meeting staffing ratios.

Last reviewed on 6 September 2023
School types: MaintainedSchool phases: AllRef: 1739
  1. You don’t need to employ specialist PE teachers
  2. Unqualified teachers can lead PE lessons
  3. Support staff can lead PE lessons under supervision
  4. Unqualified teachers and support staff can lead after-school clubs
  5. Sports instructors count as 'school teachers' for staffing ratios
  6. Your insurance probably already covers unqualified teachers

Statutory guidance and legislation referred to in this article applies to maintained schools.

Academies are free to recruit teachers without qualified teacher status (QTS), and support staff in academies can teach PE lessons if the headteacher is satisfied they have the relevant skills and experience.

Schools should also make sure health and safety requirements are being met, and check the terms of their employers' liability insurance.

You don’t need to employ specialist PE teachers

There’s no requirement for any school to employ specialist PE teachers. Headteachers can decide whether employing a specialist PE teacher is appropriate for the school's individual context.

A representative from the DfE told us this.

Unqualified teachers can lead PE lessons

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