Every child has a right to physical education (PE). PE is about ‘learning to move and moving to learn’, it teaches children how to move but also promotes how they think and feel about movement; encouraging them to be physically active for life. Often children with disabilities are excluded from PE. There are many reasons for this. One reason can be because teachers don’t know how to safely and appropriately include children with different needs and abilities in their PE class. School PE is the best setting to help children with disabilities develop their movement abilities as there are limited community based opportunities for these children. Exclusion in PE can therefore lead to exclusion in other areas of life and can have long term impact.
Teachers have long reported that PE training is limited and this is known to impact teacher confidence and the quality of PE delivery. Again in 2022, a report said that teachers are not supported enough to learn about PE during their training or later in their careers.
The aim of this project is to find out from teachers how they currently deliver PE and what help is needed to improve PE for children with disabilities. We want to ask children about their PE experiences and what can make it better. We will use interviews, focus groups and workshops to see what is happening now and discuss what tools teachers need to deliver inclusive PE. We will work with groups a number of times to build an inclusive PE support toolkit and at the end we will test it to see if it is useful.
We hope the this project will help upskill teachers to include children with disabilities in their PE class. This will support children with disabilities to become physically educated and help create lifelong habits of physical activity.