Schools delivering more PE lessons
More Scottish schools are providing pupils with at least two hours of physical education (PE) lessons per week in primary school and two periods in S1 to S4 according to figures published today.
The Scottish Government’s target is that by 2014, every primary school pupil will receive at least two hours per week of PE and S1 to S4 pupils will receive two periods of PE.
Data in the Healthy Living survey shows that for 2012, 84 per cent of primary schools were providing two hours of PE per week to all pupils, up from 3 per cent in 2004/05, while 92 per cent of secondary schools were providing two periods across S1 to S4, up from 46 per cent in 2004/05, the last time the survey was carried out.
Sport Minister Shona Robison welcomed the figures, saying:
“We want to increase opportunities for children to get involved in sport and physical activity which in turn improves health, educational attainment and life chances. 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.
“With the Olympics firing sporting passions and the Commonwealth Games in 2014 we also want a tangible and enduring legacy that leaves Scotland healthier.
“We are committed to ensuring the 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.
“And we are investing nearly £6 million over the next two years to support local authorities with this and who are currently working with sportscotland and Education Scotland to agree delivery plans.”
Learning Minister Alasdair Allan also welcomed these new figures, saying:
“Health and wellbeing is a central element of Curriculum for Excellence and should be an enjoyable experience for children and young people. We know that being active can have a positive impact on pupils’ performance and motivation, encouraging them to value their own wellbeing in the long term.”
Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland, said:
“Today’s figures are encouraging and show that significant progress is being made on meeting the PE targets in Scotland’s schools.
“An important component of the world-class sporting infrastructure we are developing in Scotland is the provision of excellent facilities alongside quality teaching and coaching for young people of all ages and abilities across Scotland.
“We are continuing to connect quality physical education to our Active Schools Network, and, in doing so, are providing the opportunities for Scotland’s primary and secondary pupils to adopt healthy lifestyles that they continue into adulthood. Working closely with our partners, we are integrating the school system with clubs and the wider community to help maximise the positive benefits of sport and physical activity.”
Dr Bill Maxwell, chief executive of Education Scotland said:
“Education Scotland continue to monitor that two hours of PE is undertaken by pupils and young people in primary and secondary schools through inspection. In addition, we're working closely with SportScotland and Scottish Government on the initiative to support this commitment and we are more generally promoting high quality physical education through our support to the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence.”
The PE statistics are incorporated into the compendium publication 'statistics for attainment, leaver destinations and healthy living, No.2: 2012 Edition’. This publication also contains information on leaver destinations, attainment and school meals statistics. The annual healthy living survey is collected in February each year from all publicly funded schools in Scotland.