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Taking part in physical education

We follow a clear set of guidelines that schools may tailor to their own policies to make sure there is a consistent expectation when taking part in Physical Education (PE).


Headteachers should discuss the code of practice with PE staff and with their parent council. A written policy on participation and dress in PE based on this code of practice should then be produced and agreed.

A statement on the school's policy should be included in the school handbook, supported by a reference to our policy.

Schools should consider issuing a letter to parents/carers explaining the policy before it is introduced.

They should make it clear that repeated non-participation for reasons outlined in this code could be considered a challenge to the head teacher's authority and in such circumstances, the headteacher could justify the full use of the school disciplinary procedures.

Our service will support headteachers in the implementation of this code of practice.

Exceptions for taking part in PE

All pupils will normally be able to take part in PE. However, on occasions, exceptions may arise, and only in these circumstances could PE be considered inappropriate and impractical. These could include:

  • Pupils who have a minor ailment (this should be communicated to the school by the parent/carer).
  • A pupil refuses or fails to meet reasonable work targets.
  • A pupil has no kit or the kit is deemed hazardous in terms of health and safety. 

Schools will have agreed on the next steps for the above which may include issuing a standard letter home informing parents/carers of the above and a reminder of expectations for their child.

PE staff will keep the appropriate member of the Senior Management Team informed as to actions taken, in line with school policy.

Page last updated:
17 Dec 2021

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