How to become a Sports Coach in schools


Sports coaches have a pivotal role to play in schools, from getting young people into sport to helping them to get the most out of it.

With the government keen to promote the need for pupils to be active, there are plenty of opportunities in both primary and secondary school settings too.

These roles provide the perfect opportunity for people to showcase their passions for sport, while inspiring young people to achieve their full potential.

The role of a sports coach in schools

The nature of sports coaching will vary depending on a school and its particular needs, but these roles will typically require staff to assist with PE and training sessions, as well as after school clubs.

However, the work will also vary based on the level of sport, the age group involved and the array of sports that an individual can coach.

For instance, some schools may look to have specialist coaches for certain sports, while others – especially in primary school settings – may want someone who can coach a wide variety of different sports.

The key elements of the role revolve around promoting PE and wellbeing, alongside assisting with the implementation of school sport in lessons and via after-school clubs.

Sports coaches also have a role to play in maintaining safety throughout training sessions in different settings – from sports fields to within school halls, gyms and swimming facilities.

In addition, they may provide specific mentoring and support to pupils so they can catch-up or fulfil their potential, which could also include tailored provision to build confidence among pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Basic skills and experience

Coaching roles can offer a way into the education system for graduates, while it is not uncommon for sports coaches to act as teaching assistants in schools too.

Alongside a basic interest and enthusiasm for sports, the role will also need a high level of communication and organisational skills, alongside knowledge of first aid training.

Sports coaches should enjoy working with young people; this is especially the case in primary schools as pupils will need to be supported as they learn different sports, tactics and styles of play.

Knowledge of behaviour management techniques and processes is also important, as this enables coaches to maintain control over the group they are working with.

Will a sports coach need qualifications?

Ultimately, schools and local authorities have the final say in what qualifications and experience they want for any role, which means sports coaching roles can vary wildly by geographic region.

Whereas some secondary schools may employ someone based on their demonstrable experience, others may also request qualifications, covering everything from coaching and PE to sports science or sports studies.

Among the options for those considering a career in sports coaching in a primary school or secondary setting, are coaching qualifications recognised by the national governing bodies of individual sports – details of these are available at UK Sport.

A UK Coaching Certificate (UKCC) can be attained for individual sports at varying levels, while there are also BTEC Higher National qualifications in sport and exercise science available, as well as a range of university degrees in sports science and related topics.

All of these can enhance the CV of someone considering a long-term career as a sports coach.

Interested in applying? You can view all of our jobs here or alternatively you can submit your CV - your local education recruitment consultant will get in touch with you shortly.