Schools are under increased pressure from both Ofsted criteria and budget restrictions, so it’s more important than ever that services are thoroughly planned and providers suitably scrutinised.
Whilst primary schools now have more on their agenda than ever, physical activity should not be overlooked or forgotten.
It is important that the quality and compatibility of potential providers are effectively evaluated. Here, we’ve put together 6 key tips that will help you find the best physical activity provider for your school.
When choosing a physical activity provider, make sure:
Any activity provider can wax lyrical about their achievements, but it’s the views of the schools and parents themselves that really matter. Thankfully, it doesn’t take long nowadays to search for independent reviews for the providers you’re considering. Trustpilot, for example, is one of the biggest independent review websites available, offering every customer the chance to have their say. You can find our dedicated page (where we are rated as ‘excellent’ with over 4800 reviews) here.
Every physical activity provider is required to ensure that their coaches are trained to a minimum official level if they’re going to be coaching unsupervised. Level 2 is the agreed standard, measured by UKCC endorsement, which demonstrates reliability, professionalism and a full understanding of the demands of coaching.
At Premier Education, we require that all our coaches adhere to our high-level of standards, which are above and beyond the national standard requirement. This includes multiple training courses which focus on crucial coaching skills, alongside NGB-approved training for specific sports. This means that our coaches are always at the top of their game.
As a direct response to the current Covid-19 pandemic, we have taken the decision to enrol all our staff onto the Transcend Level 2 Award in Infection Prevention, Mitigation and Management to ensure all activity professionals are qualified to the highest standards when it comes to keeping school staff, pupils and colleagues safe from Coronavirus. All training is delivered by Train With Premier whilst complying with social distancing measures.
This is a unique qualification which has been tailored for those working in a school and childcare environment and we are very proud to say that we are the first physical activity provider in the country to undertake this qualification.
As well as being trained to high standards, it’s vital that every coach is fully insured, first aid trained, and DBS checked in the last 2 years. If the coaching provider you are considering can’t demonstrate these qualities, then our recommendation would be to not work with them. Above all else, it’s absolutely necessary to ensure that your pupils are well looked after by safe and accountable professionals.
It’s common for a coach to build a career around a particular area of focus – whether that’s a sport or a specific age group. The best physical activity providers, however, train their staff to be fluent in a huge number of sports and activities across a wide age group. Premier Education offers dozens of sports and activities to children from 4 years old, all the way to 12, covering KS1 and KS2. As well as this, our whole ethos is built on inclusivity and encouraging every child to join in, regardless of their ability.
Any provider can come in and teach what they’ve always taught. A quality one will sit and talk with staff to learn the specific needs of the schools. Make sure that whoever you choose to work with understands the difference in demands between curricular and extra-curricular provision. It is also important that they can offer the hours you’re after – whether that’s before, during or after school hours.
Lots of coaching providers have popped up in the last few years. It’s something we’re happy to see as it gives more choice for schools, increased opportunity for budding coaches to start their career and makes it easier than ever for children to stay active. As a business, we’ve been coaching since 1999 and many of our senior leadership staff started their careers as coaches. It means we’ve learned countless lessons along the way that no training course can provide.
As an established national company, we have worked with over 2,500 primary schools across the UK. Working at this scale has given us advanced systems, reliable coaching and valuable data to call on, guaranteeing high quality provision across the board. Alongside our central hub we operate a franchise model, which means that our franchisees can offer you a bespoke service which considers the landscape and needs of your local area.
For more information on what we can offer your school or to talk to your local representative, please fill in the contact form on this page.