The importance of physical activity cannot be overstated with the NHS recommending that adults do some sort of physical activity every day.
Physical education (PE) provides a crucial platform in promoting physical activity and an overall healthy lifestyle. Therefore, a college PE teacher plays a vital role in helping students not only develop their personal fitness but also learn important life skills.
Efforts to improve accessibility of PE in FE colleges have seen Sport England invest £5m-worth of National Lottery money in colleges in a bid to promote new ways to get students active.
As well as funding traditional activities, funding was earmarked for lesser-known sports, such as tag American football, bubble football, Parkour and raveminton. The move is designed to get students more active, considering that one in five FE students in England are not active enough.
By 2024, there will be 6% more PE teachers in the UK, underlining the opportunities in this area.
The role of PE teacher at college is varied and hugely fulfilling. You will be responsible for planning and managing teaching programmes, as well as monitoring the progress of students.
Coaching further education (FE) sports enables you to share your passion for sport and physical education. The role will enable you to encourage and facilitate young people to “gain skills, compete and enjoy sport at whatever level they can”.
You will also be active on a daily basis while working in a role that is sport-centred, which is perfect for lovers of sport. This role will allow you to “continually [gain] skills which will be hugely beneficial to their future career, whatever direction [you] choose to travel”.
Most candidates applying for FE sports or PE jobs will be required to have completed a teaching qualification, such as a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE). Some will be able to substitute the qualification for relevant work experience.
The university route would involve either studying for a sport or PE degree with qualified teacher status (QTS) or for a PGCE. To study for either of these, you will usually need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades A* to C (9 to 4), including Maths and English. Two or three A-levels will also be required.
A postgraduate teaching apprenticeship is also one possible route to becoming an FE sports or PE teacher if you already have a degree.
PE teachers working in secondary schools and FE colleges can earn anything between £17,682 and £40,490, while the average salary in the UK for the role was £29,588 in 2018. Qualified sport lecturers in the FE sector can expect to start on a minimum salary of £23,000. This will increase with experience.
The lecturer in sports position at South and City College Birmingham pays between £23,154 and £37,487, depending on experience.
Bank staff can expect to be paid on an hourly rate for a lecturer in sport role. For example, the variable hours lecturer in sport at City College Plymouth pays between £17.80 and £25.55 per hour.
AoCJobs, part of the Association of Colleges, connects teachers and support staff with schools and colleges for online job opportunities.