Staff perspectives on the strengths and weaknesses of the primary physical education and sport premium: the case of three Suffolk schools.

Hall, Andrea (2022) Staff perspectives on the strengths and weaknesses of the primary physical education and sport premium: the case of three Suffolk schools. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Despite the introduction of the primary physical education and sport premium (PPESP) in 2013 there remains a mounting concern regarding the value placed on primary physical education and a lack of confidence and knowledge from teachers delivering this subject. This research seeks to understand the impact of this funding from the viewpoints of headteachers, physical education co-ordinators and generalist classroom teachers within a case study of three schools in Suffolk.

Data was collected over an eighteen month period from twenty participants using semi-structured interviews and the PPESP plans published by each school in 2017-2018. Braun and Clarke’s six-phase thematic analysis method enabled coding of the data in a systematic manner. Four themes emerged (influence, capabilities, connectivity and value) and were subsequently presented outlining the perceived opportunities and obstacles of the funding through the lens of Lawson’s occupational socialisation theory (OST).

The study’s results suggested that the PPESP has had a significant impact on the schools, staff and children studied. This can be attributed to the positive culture for school improvement created by the headteachers and the involvement of the generalist classroom teachers in the teaching of physical education. These have contributed to the subject’s value and the increased confidence of teachers. The outcomes are particularly pertinent given that the funding stream has been secured until 2023. Three recommendations for policy and practice were suggested, specifically: i) all headteachers and physical education co-ordinators to participate in training that strengthens their strategic planning and policy knowledge; ii) a detailed audit is completed of the generalist classroom teacher and physical education coordinators qualifications, skills, knowledge and confidence to teach PE (including childhood and initial teacher education experiences) and; iii) schools continue prioritising the development of local links to enhance the quality of opportunities (e.g., tournaments or fixtures) available to children and the shared continued professional development amongst staff.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2022 09:28
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2022 09:28


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