Schools athletics

Schools athletics

England Athletics works with a range of agencies to ensure that children and young people are given the opportunity to try athletics and that the taster sessions and competitions they are provided with are both enjoyable and beneficial to their long term athletics development. See Other Competitons section for National Schools events.

You can download our guide to Schools and Clubs providing athletics for young people, including the resources available, here

England Athletics and the English Schools' AA 

ESAA shield only square

England Athletics and the English Schools' AA are pleased to be working in partnership that will ensure the continuation and development of the English Schools' AA competition.

An ESAA Awards scheme covering both primary and secondary schools is being run by the English Schools’ Athletic Association and supported by England Athletics and British Athletics.

There are separate schemes, one for Primary Schools and one for Secondary Schools and both have seen previous Awards Schemes updated. This has included the introduction of new online functionality to make the Awards scheme easier for teachers to administer. Both schemes are based on outdoor activities. For Primary Schools there are five levels of One, Two, Bronze, Silver, Gold. For Secondary Schools there are three levels of Bronze, Silver, Gold.

If your school has not received your pack you can contact your county coordinator, each county has a coordinator who is able to assist you their details are available at the ESAA website at

If you require additional packs these will also be made available via the English Schools’ website. It is also possible to download the posters for the ESAA Primary Awards Scheme here and the ESAA Secondary Awards Scheme here.

The ESAA are also encouraging schools to make the most of a new online resource. This enables teachers to manage their classes, input pupil’s performances, print out charts of pupils' performances, automatically calculate their awards, and also to then have order forms generated for the relevant badges. Orders can be placed online, by BACs, or by cheque.

Athletics in schools

England Athletics is working with key partner organisations to pull together a single competition framework for athletics in schools that can also be used in our community clubs. The programmes have seen 1000s of young people get involved in short format athletic competition every year since 2009.

Sportshall Athletics and Track & Field short format competitions offer youngsters the first taste of an athletic experience in their formative years. Both formats complement each other in that they can be deployed in the indoor, Autumn/Winter and early Spring period (Sportshall) and outdoor during late Spring and Summer (Track & Field short format competitions) months.

Jess Ennis and youngstersThe formats have been embraced by schools and clubs who want to provide young children with an all embracing, dynamic, fun and skill based run, jump and throwing experience. The quality of experience a young person receives in both the school and club environment is crucial to retaining them in the sport. Therefore we must continue to encourage young children to retain the multi skill approach between Key Stages 1-4. England Athletics supports a multi-skills approach to athletics and sport in schools,  that develops the fundamental movement skills of children – being beneficial across all sports and physical activity.

Sportshall and Track & Field short format competitions provide inter and intra club and school competition locally via festivals, leagues or cluster events. Both formats can be deployed by clubs and schools as part of extra curricular and community activity sessions, providing a competitive outlet through which skills can be deployed. Both formats are beneficial at building a multi-skills approach to sport in schools that extends beyond athletics.

Club-School links

It is also important that youngsters in schools are given a positive experience in athletics and that, wherever possible, this is aligned to the work done by clubs. In many instances clubs are playing a key role in supporting the provision of athletics in Schools.  It is highly beneficial for your club to be involved in this approach and to understand what is, or can be, available to young athletes in the school setting.

Schools' athletics framework

Our competition framework for schools athletics in England which illustrates the skills, activities and competition formats relevant for each Key Stage can be found in the Linking Clubs and Schools document (open or download from right hand side of this page).

Youth Sport Trust

YST logo

The YST work with funding bodies such as Sport England, People’s Health Trust and National Sports Governing Bodies to deliver programmes and events such as School Games. England Athletics and the YST work with early years through to secondary age children at school, in Clubs, and in their local communities.


Schools' Super 8

Super 8 logoSuper 8 was piloted in 2009 with great success. Delivered outdoors, the team-based run, jump, throw format is fast and furious and is considered a “bridging event” as it transcends both Track & Field short format competitions (four events) and the more formal “traditional” longer athletics format. This also uses a multi-skills approach that develops fundamental movement skills.   Read more>   Click here for direct info on the inclusive format of Super8


Sportshall brings together young people across the globe in energetic competition and lasting friendship. Sportshall utilises a multi-skills approach that develops fundamental movement skills.
To go to the Sportshall website, click here.

Elevating Athletics

Elevating Athletics logo on its own
Elevating Athletics is the curriculum for Athletics in schools designed to place running, jumping and throwing at the heart of school physical education and to support teachers in delivering athletic activity in an inclusive, exciting and engaging manner. Teachers are equipped with skills that help them to develop a multi-skills approach to athletics and sport that enhances children's fundamental movement skills. This approach builds the skills essential for athletics and for other sports.  To go to the Elevating Athletics website click here.


England Athletics works with QuadKids for the provision of a Track & Field short form style competition, aimed at Key Stage 2 pupils in primary schools. For more information see

British Athletics Academy Awards

The British Athletics Academy Awards offer an effective test for your children / potential athletes as they learn to enjoy all aspects of running, jumping and throwing. It is a great way to deliver and then assess a multi-skills approach to sport in schools for teachers who wish to develop children's fundamental movement skills. For coaches or teachers using Athletics 365 or Elevating Athletics to develop athlete skills this is a good way for recognising and monitoring athlete outcomes in terms of 'how fast, how long, how high'.

To find out more about the British Athletics Academy Awards please click here.

School Games

The School Games is a unique opportunity to motivate and inspire millions of young people across the country to take part in more competitive school sport. Athletics is one of the sports involved in the School Games and England Athletics has worked to produce resources that can be used at all levels of the School Games programme. To find out more about our work with the School Games and Access resources please click here.

Bridging The Gap

Research to provide insight into the development and retention of young athletes was commissioned by England Athletics and carried out by Sheffield Hallam International Research Centre. 

The findings were published in August 2011. This was a study that was initiated with providers, organisers and enablers of youth athletics in mind, and aimed at guiding and informing providers of youth athletics in reviewing practice, and we hope that reports such as this one will help to ensure that all our efforts are invested with the best long term interests of young athletes in mind.

You can download the Bridging the Gap document by clicking here.

Team Super Schools

Team Super Schools (TSS) gives schools the opportunity to be inspired by meeting an Olympian or International sports star. Pupils ave fun taking part in exercise whilst rasing funds for their school.

TSS  led by Darren Campbell and Jason Gardener, have a host of Olympians to inspire the next generation to enjoy taking part in sport and to be the best they can be.

Through TSS school visits thousands of pounds have been rasied to fund school sport projects.

If you would like more information on a TSS visit please visit To discusss a TSS event please contact