Statements of special educational needs and mainstream secondary physical education in north-west England


  • Anthony Maher

Address for correspondence:

 Anthony John Maher

 University of Central Lancashire

 School of Sport, Tourism and the Outdoors

 Preston PR1 2HE




This article, by Anthony Maher of the University of Central Lancashire, explores, from the perspective of SENCos and learning support assistants (LSAs) in north-west England, the perceived adequacy of Statements of special educational needs as they relate to physical education (PE). The findings, generated via online surveys, suggest that most SENCos and some LSAs believe that Statements are appropriate for all curricular subjects, with PE being no different. Thus, two groups who play an integral role in facilitating the inclusion of pupils with special educational needs in mainstream secondary schools in England do not differentiate between classroom based and more physically orientated subjects such as PE, which could have a negative impact on the experiences of pupils with special educational needs in PE because of the contextual and dynamic nature of special educational needs. Indeed, because most Statements do not provide PE-specific information or learning targets, teachers and LSAs are often unable to collaboratively plan and deliver inclusive lessons or monitor and evaluate the progress made by Statemented pupils in PE.