Preprint / Version 1

An exploratory cluster randomized controlled trial to assess the impact of training for teachers upon children’s motor competency outcomes


  • Steven Mann
  • Alex Lucas
  • Matthew Wade
  • Jack Shakespeare
  • Emily Budzynski-Seymour
  • Rebecca Conway
  • James Steele



Fundamental Movement Skills, Movement Competency, Physical Education, Physical Literacy


Purpose: Primary school Physical Education (PE) teachers often do not possess the knowledge to sufficiently develop motor competency. This study presents an exploratory cluster randomised controlled trial that examined a teacher training programme, specifically motor competency PE delivery, in primary schools. Methods: Participants were children (n=136) aged 5-7 years, from eight primary schools (nine classes) located in Buckinghamshire, England. Measures were adapted from the Canadian ‘Physical Literacy Assessment for Youth’ methodology, including locomotion, throwing, kicking, and balancing. Pre-post measures were collected six months apart during the same academic year. A wait-list control group received no intervention. Results: Motor competency improved for both groups, yet analysis showed that the changes were not significantly different between groups. However, there was a tendency for greater effect and interval estimates [95% confidence intervals] in the intervention group across most variables. Conclusion: Teacher training may at best produce a small improvement in children’s motor competency. However, future research should test this with larger more powerful research designs.