Is there a need for having a Gifted and Talented PE group?

In my 20 years of teaching I have always wanted to develop at school a gifted and talented sports group. On numerous occasions I have gone through the motions, produced a gifted and talented list, and then not acted upon it.

In 2001, the days of funding, I set up a sports bursary programme which encouraged our students to apply for some funding (£50 to £100 in those days). Although it attracted students from years 7 to 13, the majority of funding went to the older students as for many of them they were competing at a higher level and painted a solid picture of potential  and success in their application form. We did have England badminton players, GB sailors and Regional hockey players on the programme. It certainly highlighted the vast array of sporting talent in the school and the great number of sports covered. However that was it, yes we ran a couple workshops, but the emphasis on the group was minimal and as one teacher said “It is just a paper exercise producing a G&T list”. Now that the days are gone where schools have funding available to aid their gifted and talented students, is there a good reason to produce a G&T group in PE. 

Well the answer would appear yes. So many positive articles on the subject explaining what they do and the impact it has.




Many of the reports say how they identify the pupils, what they can change in lesssons and how they use them as sports leaders. We must firstly remember how are the students going to benefit from being on this list and then secondly what can the school benefit from this group of students. Sports leadership is one of these factors that a school can benefit from, but what can the student get out of it.

With this in mind it is important to make the Gifted and Talented PE student feel valued, but also use this talent to benefit other. Below are the some of the stages we have applied in the development of our Gifted and Talented group.

The application process

It is important to be professional about how the Gifted and Talented list is put together. Do students the students want to be part of this group? Some students are happy with the support they get outside school e.g. those pupils who are on day release at our Football Academies.

It is for this reason we get the majority of pupils to apply to be part of the Gifted and Talented group. The reason I say “Majority” is that as PE teachers we always see the potential in some of our students we teach. A small group of these students can be added to the list. For many though it is a process of going completing an application form. The application form asks for current levels of performance, club & coaches information and always a what I call a stand out question e.g. Where will you be in 10 years time not only in terms of your sport, but also your career?

The selection process

This has to be a group process, but someone should initially take charge and place the applications into what they think are the different levels of Performance.

We have set three categories where out Gifted and Talented pupils can be placed.

Level 1 - Elite performers (National/Regional/County Level)

Level 2 - High Level performers (Top in school sport, GCSE/A Level potential and solid club sport performer)

Level 3 - PE potential. This is a small group of student who have been identified as having great potential in PE. This may consist of mainly KS3 students.

The criteria we have used when choosing which levels these students must go into is listed below.

- High performance in school sport

- High performance in club sport (National, Regional or County Level).

- High standard in PE. Constantly achieving high levels in PE. Gold performer.

- Key 2/3 transition data highlights the potential of the student.

- High performance in GCSE/BTEC/A Level subjects.

This is where you may ask, why should pupils who perform well a exam level be added to the G&T cohort. Is this group basked on performance? Remember though a G&T group should benefit the student as well as the school. No all G&T sport student will be outstanding performers, but some may be outstanding coaches, outstanding officials, outstanding sports designers, outstanding reporters etc. This is where a G&T programme should focus its delivery. It covers so much more than just performance. This is something I am going to examine over the next couple of months......

Next article ... what can you offer your students. This is going to be ongoing during the year, so how things went will be published on the site.

Any questions then please contact me on