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Ever Thought About Becoming a PE Teacher?


Job Description

A PE teacher is responsible for planning, teaching and tutoring students in a school setting. They teach a range of different sports and provide young people with an opportunity to develop and improve their social and physical skills.

Name: Harvey Grout
Profession: PGCE Physical Education, Course Leader   
Employer: The University of Southampton

A day in a life of a PE teacher

Teaching is a very busy, interactive, interesting and fun profession to work in. It’s definitely never dull! The role is very diverse and good organisational skills are important.

A large percentage of the role involves teaching practical PE to 11-16 year olds and with the introduction of the new National Curriculum there is the opportunity to teach a huge variety of sports. Some schools offer such sports as ultimate Frisbee, golf, trampolining and Rock it Ball in lessons now.

As well as practical PE most schools also offer academic PE such as GCSE, BTEC and A Level to 14 – 19 year olds. Topics in these qualifications include physiology, sports psychology and sport in society. A PE teacher might also be required to run lunch time and after school sports clubs/fixtures and during the school holiday’s many run tours abroad such as skiing.

3 great things about being a PE teacher

1. Working with young people

2. It is very rewarding watching young people achieve and develop

3. It’s an active job and in the summer it’s great to work outside.

3 not so great things about being a PE teacher

1. All the paper work

2. Fixtures after school and parents evenings can make a school day a very long day.

3. The winter is not so great to be outside!

What qualifications should people interested in career as a PE teacher gain?

There are various routes into Physical Education teaching. Try and do GCSE PE and post 16 qualifications that are relevant (A level PE; BTEC Sport;  have a look at the new Sport and Active Leisure Diploma starting 2010).  You can then do a B.Ed in Physical Education or a relevant undergraduate degree followed by a PGCE or GTP course. If you take the latter route, which is better financially, try and pick a sports degree that is closely related to PE, such as BA Physical Education or BA Sports Coaching. A sports science degree is less relevant.

3 opportunities and experiences recommend people gain

Doing a year in a school before applying to do a PGCE / GTP is helpful (e.g. as a Cover supervisor or Learning Support Assistant).

2. Work as a Play worker / youth worker in your holidays, or Camp America to gain experience working with children.

3. Find experiences where you can coach young people – perhaps at your local sports club.

Salary Range

Approx £21,000 to £34,000 (without London weighting)

Harvey Grout is a former PE teacher and now PGCE PE Tutor at the University of Southampton.
To contact Harvey please email

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