Shifting policy in school sport coaching - an evaluation and implications for schools and coaches

This paper examines the impact of the School Sport Coaching Programme during the past two years and the implications for schools and coaches in light of the recent changes in funding by the current coalition government. The School Sport Coaching Programme is a strand within the PE and Sport Strategy for Young People and aims to improve the quantity and quality of coaching offered to young people. The research methods included two surveys which asked respondents to report and reflect on the first year of the programme (2008-2009). One survey went to the Partnership Development Managers (PDMs) and another to the coaches coaching in the partnership schools. There were case study visits to four partnerships with differing characteristics and staff were asked to report on the second year of the programme (2009-2010). The case study visits included interviews with National Governing Body (NGB) representatives, PDMs, coach managers, teachers and other partnership staff and focus groups with young people. In the first year of the programme there was a 70% increase in the number of hours of paid coaching reported for each partnership from 588 to 1,001 hours. The main issues for consideration for the future of coaching in schools were that the most successful partnerships were: employing a coach manager to manage the team of salaried and volunteer coaches across the partnership; employing full-time or substantial hours part-time coaches by seeking joint funding with NGBs and other agencies; setting-up satellite clubs on school sites to assist the development of effective school club links; enabling coaches to organise festivals and competitions for the young people. The paper concludes by considering the implications of this evidence on the future of coaching in schools.