Promoting Quality Physical Education Policy

Quality Physical Education contributes to 21st century education

Sustainable development starts with safe, healthy, well-educated children. To impart skills required for the 21st century, education must focus on shaping attitudes, building behaviours and instilling values that support peace, inclusion and equitable development.

"Quality Physical Education (QPE) is an essential entry point….to learn life skills, and develop positive patterns of behaviour" (MINEPS V 2013)

Putting the Quality in Physical Education

Quality Physical Education (QPE) represents active, inclusive, peer-led learning. A tailored QPE programme supports students to develop the physical, social and emotional skills which define self-confident and socially responsible citizens.

Why is QPE key?

Closing the Policy-Practice Gap

To practically support governments develop inclusive, child-centered physical education policy which supports skills acquisition, UNESCO has developed a resource package in partnership with the European Commission, the International Bureau of Education (IBE), International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE), International Olympic Committee (IOC), Nike, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Benefitting from the input more than 50 organizations and individual experts, from all world regions, the Quality Physical Education policy package aims at:

1. Promoting QPE’s broad-based social and developmental benefits
2. Practically supporting governments to design and implement inclusive QPE policy
3. Develop cognitive and non-cognitive skills through PE to get  children physically literate and future well-rounded citizens

The QPE Policy Package at a glance


A “how to” guide (Quality Physical Education Guidelines for Policy-Makers) to review and reinforce policy measures, with locally adaptable benchmarks for provision, checklists, good practice examples and a policy matrix (also available in French, Portuguese and Spanish). *


methodology document which outlines good practice in terms of the process of policy revision (also available in French and Spanish).


An infographic making the case for public investment in inclusive, child-centered QPE policy (also available in French, Portuguese and Spanish). *


* These documents are also available in Portuguese on the dedicated webpage of UNESCO Brasilia Office.

Launch of the policy revision process: 2016-2017


Using the Guidelines, UNESCO and partners will support 5 countries (Fiji, Mexico, South Africa, Tunisia and Zambia) to develop inclusive, child-centered PE policy.

Revised policy will promote physical literacy and values-based learning as part of rounded development and global education priorities.

The revision process will prioritize the engagement of diverse stakeholders involved in, and affected by, the QPE policy, via consultations designed to reflect grassroots perspectives in upstream policy frameworks.

The input and expertise of peer review countries, engaged to share global good practice and provide guidance in the policy development, will be underpinned by rigorous national and international monitoring and evaluation of project implementation.

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