Schools Apprenticeship Service
Sports Development

The Sports Development apprenticeship programme is designed for schools looking to develop new staff, and enhance the sport on offer in their local community.


The programme offers apprentices and existing employees a foundation to develop skills in activity leadership and sports development for young people.

Although Sports Development apprentices are often used in the sports industry, the programme has become increasingly popular with schools in recent years.

Common roles filled by sports development apprentices in schools, include arranging and organising fixtures, sports coaching, and sports volunteer management.

Practical Training

An Apprenticeship is all about learning on the job. However, we understand that if apprentices are delivering to Primary age learners, these sessions must be to a high standard. For this reason, all apprentices follow key knowledge elements of their programme in the first couple of months, and are signed off by their assessor before they are allowed to deliver to your young people.

90% of apprentices stay in employment after finishing their apprenticeship

Once signed off, the apprentices achieve the rest of the qualification, by showing competence in different work-based scenarios and tasks.

Typically, an Apprentice is expected to work for up to 30 hours a week for the school. They will need to be allowed up to 6 hours each week to focus on their studies.

The programme offers both Intermediate (Level 2) and Advanced (Level 3) Apprenticeships. It has been specifically designed for institutions that want to develop staff, and provide an enhanced, and innovative learning environment for all young people.


Apprentices can follow many different pathways, when they complete the programme.

A Level 2 Apprentice will often progress onto a more supervisory role as a Level 3 Apprentice, or into a Level 3 Study Programme.

Some use their ability to coach sporting activities to a high standard as a springboard into the world of work, often remaining in the PE and School Sport Sector, working as a sports development officer, coach, or even moving into teaching assistant (TA) or higher level teaching assistant (HLTA) roles/qualifications.

Level 3 Apprentices can use the qualification to gain entry onto Foundation Degree Programmes or Higher Level Apprenticeships.

Many use the fact that they have achieved the industry standard PE and School Sport Qualification to gain jobs with Schools, Training Providers or coaching companies as coaches, PPA cover PE teachers or sports development officers. It provides an introduction to further opportunities for work within physical education and school sport as a higher level teaching assistant (HLTA) or teaching assistant (TA)

A school does not have to provide these progression opportunities for the Apprentices. VLUK’s IAG process will highlight to them how best to implement their newly acquired skills in pursuit of their ultimate career plans.


To achieve in any walk of life, an individual has to work hard. We expect all apprentices to give of their best.

As full time employees of your school, they have to fit in with your values and ethics, and are expected to work hard, be it in their approach to coaching or theoretical study.

A typical apprentice can expect to spend anything between 30-36 hours a week studying, training, and developing his or her work experience. There are no half measures or shortcuts to success.

A conventional timetable for PE and School:

 Admin support.
Industry Based Work & Admin support

Morning Industry Based Work.
Admin supportIndustry Based Work 

Morning Admin support.
Industry Based Work & Admin support

Morning Mentor Meeting & Industry Based Work.
Admin supportIndustry Based Work 

All day
Academic day. Independent Study. (Computer and space needed).

The timetable is an example but it can be tailored to the needs of the business. Also, working hours can be increased as long as the apprentice is paid accordingly.


Throughout the programme apprentices will be challenged both in their teaching and coaching and through studying a variety of theory units. These units will provide the essential groundwork knowledge required to establish them as valuable employees of your school.

As a school, you will be expected to provide a work-based mentor to provide essential guidance and one-to-one support to the apprentice, throughout their time with you. Through this, and with the key knowledge an apprentice learns from the VLUK sessions, the apprentice will continue to develop in your institution day-by-day, moving onto planning, leading and reviewing projects, whilst being mentored and observed.

Training is designed to develop the apprentice’s interaction skills with others and give them the knowledge and understanding of everything that is required to become a valued support coach or teacher.

The apprentice is seen as a valuable employee, so will be expected to work and conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.

Before the end of the programme, they will be able to deliver sporting activities and understand how to develop participation in sport in schools and the wider community. The programme will increase confidence, expand knowledge and enhance communication skills.

Many of our former students have developed within their existing workplace or go on to find work in other schools, whilst others choose to apply for further apprenticeships.


The Intermediate Apprenticeship

This Apprenticeship is designed to provide a vocational pathway into the planning, reviewing and delivering of projects within the sports development community.

It is particularly suited to young adults aged 16-23 years old looking to develop a career in activity leadership, sports development or sports coaching and physical education, and is a stepping stone to the Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship.

Level 2 Intermediate apprenticeship in Activity Leadership - Approximately 13 months

  • Level 2 NVQ in Activity Leadership
  • Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Coaching Sport; or L2 BTEC Award in Increasing Participation in Sport
  • Level 1 Functional Skills in English and Maths


The Advanced apprenticeship

This Apprenticeship is designed to provide a vocational pathway into the planning, reviewing and delivering of projects within the sports development community.

Training is designed to develop the apprentice’s interaction skills with others and give them the knowledge and understanding of everything that is required within a sports development role.

Designed to provide them with a greater understanding of sports development roles and the environment in which they will be operating in, this apprenticeship will provide them with experience in sports development, marketing, health and safety, management and coaching.

Level 3 Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Sports Development - Approximately 13 months

  • Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Sports Development
  • Level 3 Certificate in Increasing Participation in Sport & Active Leisure in Community Settings
  • Level 2 Functional Skills in English and Maths
Case Studies


Secondary Academy

Apprentice 1

Role: PE assistant
To assist in PE lessons, organise & support fixtures of school teams, organise and run after-school clubs and lunchtime sessions


  • A cost-effective solution for the PE Department
  • Enhanced service of extra-curricular clubs and school teams for students, with no impact on teaching staff time.
  • Allows PE staff to concentrate on planning and delivering sessions, not admin tasks, such as arranging fixtures
  • The school trains enthusiastic staff “their way”,
  • The school can pick the best apprentices to employ and develop further in the future.

Apprentice 2

Role: Sports Development Assistant
Assist community team in developing links with feeder primary schools, run tournaments, develop use of community facilities.


  • Enhanced presence in feeder Primary schools, maintaining the SSCo links.
  • Develops sport within the feeder primary schools, and wider community through tournaments, and other events
  • Promotes use of Academy facilities within the community, supporting the facility sales team.
  • No impact on teaching staff time.
  • Positive sporting role model in Primary schools
  • Links create increased intake in Yr 7

Contact Us

  • To find out more about our Apprenticeship Service, please get in touch.

Start Date
Monthly from September 2015

Course type
Full-time Apprenticeship

Course Duration
13 months

Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship

Based on National Apprenticeship wage

Apprentices need to be employed by the partner school

Job Roles
Typical job roles, include PE Department and Sports Development Assistants. 

Course progression
Access to further/higher education

Career opportunities
Assistant Sports Development Officer, community trust sports officer.

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