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UK Coaching and Schools Toolkit Partners
Children Employer or Deployer

Qualifications and Skills Required to Coach in a School

When employing coaches, UK Coaching recommends adherence to our sector guidance on the qualifications, training and legal requirements that all coaches should meet

The ‘Minimum Standards for Active Coaches’ have been replaced by the ‘Minimum Deployment Requirements’. You can find out more about them here

The guidance includes recommendations across the following five areas:

  1. Minimum age — 18 years old for all paid coaches working in schools
  1. Appropriate qualifications — the minimum qualification, recommended by the National Partners, for a coach or professional working in a primary school context is usually considered to be a UKCC level 2 coaching qualification or equivalent in the activity being delivered. It is acknowledged, however, that other volunteers including Level 1 assistant coaches, and under-18s including young leaders, may support delivery. This must be under the direct supervision of a qualified teacher or Level 2 coach.
  1. Appropriate insurance cover for the duties you have asked them to carry out at the school
  1. Policies and procedures. As a minimum, your school should have in place the following policies: code of practice, equality, participant welfare, health and safety. You should require a coach to sign up to these as part of a thorough school induction
  1. A DBS check completed where necessary.

Minimum Standards

Core guidance for all organisations that employ or use coaches (eg governing bodies of sport, county sports partnerships, clubs, schools, local authorities and leisure centres)


Coaching Children Qualifications Guidance

UK Coaching has developed this additional guidance tool outlining the recommended qualifications and training for each sport when coaching in a school. The tool has been developed in partnership with governing bodies of sport and key Partners the Youth Sport Trust (YST) and Association for Physical Education (afPE). It has over 30 sports included so far.

Minimum Standards

For Active Coaches of Children and Young People


Why should my school adhere to this guidance?

Following this guidance helps schools to:

  • raise the quality of PE and school sport
  • ensure your coaches have the right level of coaching knowledge and skills for their role
  • ensure your coaches are running safe sessions
  • safeguard the pupils your coaches are working with
  • be sure that your coaches and school will be insured in the event of an accident or incident.

In the event of an incident, your insurance may not be valid if a coach lacks the appropriate qualification.

Dance Specific Guidance

Dance is an activity within the statutory national curriculum physical education programme of study for maintained schools.

Professionals, other than teachers with qualified teacher status, support the delivery of dance with children. These professionals are often called dance practitioners. They may be accredited through a degree in dance, vocational training or other certified courses.  

Advice on how to find dance professionals who can help you deliver high quality dance in your schools can be found here

Additional Recommended Training

UK Coaching and our partner organisations feel that for coaches operating in schools, undertaking additional training beyond the Minimum Standards allows coaches to have a greater understanding and impact on PE and School Sport. 

Some sports do not yet offer qualifications and training specific to coaching children or coaching in schools. As such, coaching in the Primary School environment can present a new challenge that some coaches are not always prepared for e.g. large class sizes, delivering the School and National Curriculum and helping to develop the sport-specific skills of teachers. 

Therefore, UK Coaching also recommends the following training for coaches working in schools:

Schools should ensure that they have a system in place to monitor and evaluate the provision of coaching.

Coaching in Primary Schools Toolkit

This resource is part of a series aimed at Primary Schools in the UK developed by a range of National organisations.

Find More Like This

Safe Practice: in Physical Education, School Sport & Physical Activity

Published every four years, this is the essential reference and developmental tool by afPE that offers up-to-date advice across PESSPA.

Order your copy



Related Content

  • Recruiting Coaches into Schools

  • How to Induct a Coach Into your School

  • Recruiting the Right Children’s Coach for your School


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UK Coaching and Schools Toolkit Partners