PE and SEN during COVID-19

As lockdown took place throughout Europe, concerns have been raised about the way physical education continued (or not) during remote schooling. The immediate transition from face to face to remote physical education left many teachers unprepared and having to deal with many technologies that required changes to the knowledge, content and pedagogy. The situation may have been further complicated when working with pupils with special educational needs. Therefore, it has raise the question of whether the existing standards for adapted physical education require a review.

Members of the European Federation of Adapted Physical Activity are interested to find out the general situation on the provision of adapted physical education in schools across Europe during the COVID-19 lockdown. This project is coordinated by EUFAPA Vice-President Dr Kwok Ng.

The survey for PE teachers is available in

  • English
  • French
  • Latvian
  • Lithuanian
  • Portuguese

Following the completion of the survey, The link to the updated Standards can be viewed from here:

Results from the study that were then used to inform and guide the updates to the education part of the EUSAPA was published and made available through Open Access on the European Journal of Special Needs Education.


Current research in the area of APA and COVID-19

  • Ng, K. (2020). Adapted Physical Activity through COVID-19. European Journal of Adapted Physical Activity, 13, 1.
  • Fitzgerald, H., Stride, A., & Drury, S. (2020). COVID-19, lockdown and (disability) sport. Managing Sport and Leisure.
  • Di Stefano V., Battaglia G. & Giustino V. (2020) Significant reduction of physical activity in patients with neuromuscular disease during COVID-19 pandemic: the long-term consequences of quarantine. J Neurol. 2020
  • Settembre, N., Maurice, P., Paysant, J., Theurel, J., Claudon, L., Kimmoun, A., Levy, B., Hani, H., Chenuel, B., & Ivaldi, S. (2020). The use of exoskeletons to help with prone positioning in the intensive care unit during COVID-19. Annals of physical and rehabilitation medicine63(4), 379–382.
  • Cardoso V.D., Nicoletti, L.P., & Haiachi M.C.. (2020) Impactos da pandemia do COVID-19 e as possibilidades de atividades físicas e esportivas para pessoas com deficiência. Rev Bras Ativ Fis Saúde [Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the possibilities of physical and sports activities for people with disabilities] 2020;25.
  • Garcia JM, Lawrence S, Brazendale K, et al. Brief Report: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health behaviors in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Disability and Health Journal, 2020, 101021, ISSN 1936-6574.
  • Ng K., Klavina A., Ferreira J.P., Barrett U., Pozeriene J. & Reina R.  (2021) Teachers’ preparedness to deliver remote adapted physical education from different european perspectives: updates to the european standards in adapted physical activity, European Journal of Special Needs Education, DOI: 10.1080/08856257.2021.1872848
  • Theis N., Campbell N., De Leeuw J., Owen M. & Schenke K. (2021) The effects of COVID-19 restrictions on physical activity and mental health of children and young adults with physical and/or intellectual disabilities. Disability and Health Journal.
  • Maugeri, G., & Musumeci, G. (2021). Adapted Physical Activity to Ensure the Physical and Psychological Well-Being of COVID-19 Patients. Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology6(1), 13.
  • Keely A. Shaw, Leandy Bertrand, Daton Deprez, Jongbum Ko, Gordon A. Zello, Philip D. Chilibeck, (2021) The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on diet, fitness, and sedentary behaviour of elite para-athletes, Disability and Health Journal,
  • Huang, S., Sun, T., Zhu, Y., Song, S., Zhang, J., Huang, L., Chen, Q., Peng, G., Zhao, D., Yu, H., & Jing, J. (2021). Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children with ASD and Their Families: An Online Survey in China. Psychology research and behavior management14, 289–297.
  • Roldan, R., & Reina, R. (2021). Are self-efficacy gains of university students in adapted physical activity influenced by online teaching derived from the COVID-19 pandemic? Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 654157.

Reports on APA

Activity Alliance – COVID-19 and disabled people snapshot – December 2020.

Sport Ireland – Return to Sport and Physical Activity – People with Disabilities.

UNICEF – Children with disabilities learn through sport during COVID-19.