Schools PE on target – but do sums add up?

Posted on 17/06/2014 by


A record number of schools are meeting PE targets but Scottish Greens say the government must try harder …


New National Statistics released today (Tuesday 17 June) show that 96 per cent of Scottish schools are now meeting the target of delivering two hours, or two periods, of physical education each week to pupils, with 98 per cent expecting to be on target by August.

The figure has risen from 89 per cent last year, and just 10 per cent in 2004/05, as more schools across the country meet the national target.

This year’s survey of local authorities also asked whether schools not currently hitting the target will meet it from the start of the new school year. Survey results show 98 per cent of schools expect to meet the target from this August.

The figures come as COSLA and Cabinet Secretary for Sport, Shona Robison, jointly published the new Sport Strategy for Children and Young People – Giving Children and Young People a Sporting Chance – that is backed by almost £6 million of investment over 2014-16. The Strategy sets out a plan to ensure that Scotland is a great environment for children and young people to embark on lifelong participation in sport.

Speaking at the launch of the East Lothian Primary Games, Ms Robison, said: “Today’s figures highlight the excellent progress that is being made across Scottish schools. In 2004/05 only 10 per cent of schools were meeting the recommended target of two hours, or two periods, of PE each week. Now we are at an outstanding 96 per cent, and we expect that to rise to 98 per cent by August, with just 41 schools still to meet the target out of 2419 schools across Scotland.

“Scotland is striving to become a healthier, more active nation and we will continue to work with COSLA, Education Scotland, and sportscotland to build on this performance.”

Investment of almost £6 million through Education Scotland and sportscotland between 2014-16 to support delivery of the target was a key feature of the draft Youth Sport Strategy published in December.

Ms Robison added: “I am delighted to launch this strategy. It has been shaped by the Young People’s Sport Panel, and informed by the views of almost 3,000 children and young people.

“The strategy highlights the importance of putting the views of children and young people at the heart of delivery and provides a framework for collaborative working to deliver their sporting aspirations.”

Councillor Harry McGuigan, COSLA Spokesperson for Community Wellbeing said: “COSLA is delighted to be launching Scotland’s sport strategy for children and young people in partnership with the Scottish Government.

“We want our children and young people to participate in and enjoy sport, but we need to create the right opportunities and we must celebrate their talents and successes. It is our collective responsibility to realise the aim of lifelong participation in sport.

“Councils provide nearly 90 per cent of public sector investment in sport, including the delivery of the community sports hubs. Local authorities and leisure trusts make a huge contribution to the delivery of Scotland’s sport, providing opportunities through a wide range of activities and provision, to achieve better outcomes for our children and young people.”


However far from congratulating the government on it’s achievements, Green Party Education spokesperson Alison Johnstone is renewing her call for action she says the latest figures show a further drop in secondary schools meeting targets for physical education!

The Greens say the percentage has dropped to 90 per cent, compared to 91 last year and 92 in 2012. The lowest figure, of just 33 per cent of secondary schools achieving 100 minutes of PE per week, was recorded by East Lothian. In many local authority areas there is a significant drop between S2 and S3.

Alison Johnstone MSP said: “To see a further drop is a real worry and suggests the Scottish Government has taken its eye off the ball. We need proper facilities and proper coaching so that exercise remains attractive and enjoyable as our young people progress through the school system.

“Given the increasing warnings around diabetes and obesity, and all the talk of creating a national sporting legacy, I strongly urge ministers to look carefully at what can be done to improve performance in S3 and S4. And I would ask East Lothian Council to outline what support they need to enable their schools to do better.”

Statistics, eh? Decide for yourself – see below:

Scottish Government Bulletin