Academics Create Guidance Book on Inclusive PE Teaching

Inclusive PE book
Rebecca Foster MBE and Lerverne Barber

Physical Education for Young People with Disabilities is a handbook that supports teachers and trainee teachers to be more inclusive in their practice when planning and teaching PE. Edited by Principal Lecturer for Adapted Physical Education, Rebecca Foster MBE, and Deputy Head of the School of Sport and Exercise Science, Lerverne Barber, this collaborative book has contributions from all members of the PE teaching team.

Now there are plans underway to take the book to an international audience, working with universities in Japan and east Asia.

Ms Foster, who was awarded her MBE for services to inclusive sport, said: “It’s a resource to make teaching more inclusive, to give people a starting point and a range of different ideas. It’s about ensuring that children who may have been marginalised can have an equal voice and are able to participate in lessons along with their peers.” 

Ms Barber added: “We hope to make a positive impact on the experience that young people with disabilities have in PE and beyond, supporting them to become more involved in physical activity as a result.  This book brings together inspiring practice that University of Worcester staff have been sharing with students, teachers and practitioners over several years. We are confident that the strategies and techniques really work."

Two years in the making, chapters focus on the different PE national curriculum activity areas of athletics, dance, games, gymnastics, outdoor and adventurous activities, and swimming and ideas for modifications to include pupils with a range of disabilities. 

“This book’s approach is unique,” said Ms Barber. “It looks at specific needs in relation to each of the activity areas and uses easily understandable language that really works for practitioners, students and academics alike.”

Professor David Green CBE DL, the University’s Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, said: “This life affirming book is an inspiration. My colleagues at the University are international leaders in the practice and promotion of inclusive sport and physical education. Sport and physical activity really are for everyone. This book has a wealth of practical ideas and techniques from which every lecturer, teacher and coach in sport and Physical Education will really benefit.”

Inclusive sport has been a key feature of the University’s approach over the last decade. Sports students can take modules on inclusive PE and adapted sport in all three years of their degree to develop expertise in this area. The University also offers a specific degree course in Sports Coaching Science with Disability Sport and a Master’s in Adapted Sport.

Ella Beaumont, one of the University’s Sports Coaching Science with Disability Sport graduates and a former elite level wheelchair basketball player, said: "It is great to see the University of Worcester produce such a valuable resource to help encourage teachers and trainee teachers to become more inclusive in their teaching, specifically in Physical Education. I feel so proud to have attended a University that has so much forward thinking for inclusivity, and it’s great to see academics sharing the knowledge they have in this field that they shared with me during my degree. This book will make a huge impact on pupils with disabilities far and wide.”

Work has now started on translated and adapted versions of the book, working with partner universities in east Asia, including Beijing Sport University in China, and the University of Tsukuba in Japan, as well as Hong Kong Education University.

“Over the last few years we have been working with the most prestigious universities for sport in east Asia, sharing our practices through presentations and workshops” said Ms Barber. “The next step is to collaborate on culturally relevant versions of our book. Japan and China don't have anything like this currently, so they are very enthusiastic about working with us."

The book is available to purchase through publishers Routledge.