Covid-19 and Physical Education

published on 3th November, 2020

PE can, and we feel must, go on!

However, everyone’s safety is paramount. So, we have collated some principles for you to consider when preparing for PE. 

We are following the government guidelines, and when it comes to COVID-19 and Physical Education, the following information should be considered. You should also bear in mind the published government guidance and your school’s own COVID-19 protective measures. 

Preparation for PE

Changing areas should be cleaned after every use.  Pupils must adhere to social distancing measures throughout changing. Marking out zones will help with this. 

Or, the need for changing areas can be reduced if you ask pupils to only attend school with a PE kit on their PE days.

Complete an updated Risk Assessment ahead of every unit of work with all COVID secure measures included.

The use of outdoor space should be encouraged. Outdoor PE is always preferable to indoor PE where possible. Where outdoor space isn’t available, indoor space may be used if pupils are able to practice social distancing and work on their own or small group zones. 

If this is not possible for indoor PE the opportunity should be taken in the classroom to explore the personal, social and cognitive skills of pupils through the theoretical side of PE. 

Class sizes need to be suitable for up to date social distancing measures to be followed.  If you have enough staff, consider splitting your class into two groups. One half can take part in active PE whilst the other half works on classroom PE, then swap over.


Before lessons, make a plan for getting pupils from their classroom to the PE space and back again. This will limit risk and reduce movement around the school. This plan should take staggered break and lunch times into account, as well as unnecessary movement in school.

Thought should also be given, and plans discussed, with pupils regarding toilet breaks during lessons.

Good Hygiene 

Before and after every PE lesson, pupils should be given the chance to wash their hands thoroughly. 

All PE lessons should have tissues and hand sanitiser available throughout the lesson.

Activities and Teaching

Curriculum priorities i.e. Long-term plans may need to be altered to avoid team sports. If team sports are to be delivered, focus on individual skills and techniques as all contact games must be avoided. 

All activities should allow for social distancing – following the up to date government guidance. 

Where suitable, mark out lines to keep pupils safe during activities. 

Remind pupils throughout that all activities are non-contact and social distancing measures need to be adhered to.

We recommend following the Social Distancing PE plans available on the PE Planning website.


Equipment should be cleaned after every use and their use limited during lessons. Our Social Distancing PE plans have been created to account for a strict cleaning regime. 

Equipment may be shared if pupils are washing their hands upon entering and exiting PE lesson. Again this should be minimal, and planned for.

The above notes have been collated for our team delivering PE.  We hope you find them useful, but all schools are different. Therefore, we strongly advise that you consult with your Senior Leadership Team when setting a COVID-safe PE Policy.

If you need more guidance with COVID-19 and Physical Education plans, we are here to help. Simply drop the PE Planning team a message here.

Find helpful PE resources in our resources section, including our social distancing PE lesson plans, including Foundation KS1 and KS2 plans.