Only four councils hit PE targets
SCHOOLS in Scotland are still failing to meet national targets for the amount of physical education pupils do in a week, despite huge improvements over the past few years.
Figures released yesterday by the Scottish Government show 84 per cent of primary schools are now providing two hours of PE a week for pupils, up from just three per cent in 2004-5, while 92 per cent of secondaries are meeting the required standard, up from 46 per cent.
However, statistics showed huge variations across the country, with some councils falling well short of national targets.
In Dundee, just 56 per cent of S1-S4 pupils receive the target of 100 minutes of PE a week, while the figure for Midlothian is 67 per cent. In Falkirk, only 55 per cent of primary school children receive the required amount of PE; in Shetland it is 61 per cent.
The SNP’s 2007 manifesto said that the party wanted to “ensure that every pupil has two hours of quality PE each week, delivered by specialist PE teachers”.
Commenting on the figures, sport minister Shona Robison said: “PE in school is a crucial long-term investment, as habits formed in childhood and adolescence continue throughout adulthood and pupils who take part in PE can better understand the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. This will also contribute to encouraging children to have at least 60 minutes’ activity a day.
“We are committed to provision of at least two hours per week of PE in primary schools and at least two periods of PE in secondary schools for pupils in S1-S4 by 2014. While we still have some way to go, these statistics demonstrate good progress.”
The figures show that just four councils – East Ayrshire, East Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire and West Dunbartonshire – are meeting the targets in 100 per cent of their schools.
Lib Dem education spokesman Liam McArthur said: “It’s odd that ministers have found these figures a cause for celebration, as they highlight the fact the SNP still hasn’t delivered its 2007 manifesto pledge.
“Nevertheless, the figures do underline the need for the Scottish Government to deliver a proper legacy from the Olympics this year and Commonwealth Games in 2014, tackling healthy living both in school and more widely.”
The figures were released the day after Judy Murray blamed a lack of PE in schools for creating a generation of “overweight and uncoordinated” youngsters.
The mother of Wimbledon hopeful Andy Murray said she was shocked by the number of obese children she had met during a recent tour of high schools.
Dr Sue Robertson of the British Medical Association’s (BMA) Scottish Consultants Committee said: “Far too many children in Scotland are obese or overweight. Unless addressed, poor diet in the early years can easily store up many long-term health problems. Much more needs to be done to prioritise physical activity and to educate children to choose to eat healthily.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 6 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west