New funding to further improve quality of physical education in schools

Nearly £6 million will ensure schools have the best quality PE lessons ahead of next year’s Commonwealth Games.

The funding will help support better youth sport and will capitalise on the enthusiasm for the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup.

The move supports the Scottish Government’s draft Youth Sport Strategy, published today for consultation. Its vision is that Scotland will be the best place in the world for a child to grow up actively and has been shaped by the Young People’s Sport Panel (YPSP), a group of 16 people between the ages of 14 and 25 who are passionate about sport and want to make a difference.

Key actions in the draft Strategy include:

– Extending competitive sport in and between schools to ensure young people have the opportunity to experience these events at an early level
– Ensuring that every Community Sport Hub has young people as an integral part of their management team as well as further developing youth activities
– Ensuring that every secondary school which wishes can have access to or be a Community Sport Hub
– Involving disabled young people fully in PE and sports provision
– Ensuring high quality coaches, leaders, and volunteers raise the profile of young people in sport

During the consultation, the Scottish Government and sportscotland will work closely with partners including Young Scot, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People and the Children’s Parliament to ensure views are received from a broad range of children and young people. The final strategy and action plan will be published in spring 2014.

Commonwealth Games and Sport Minister Shona Robison made the announcement on further PE funding today (December, 9) at Blackness Primary School, Dundee where she met with pupils during their PE lesson.

Ms Robison said,

“We all recognise the importance of being physically active and the Scottish Government and local authorities have invested considerable resources to support this in early years, school, further and higher education and within the community.

“We know the power of sport to deliver better health and wellbeing for young people and this continued commitment to PE funding will help prepare young people to lead a fulfilling, active and healthy lifestyle.

“Moving forward, it is particularly important that the Youth Sport Strategy is for children and young people, by children and young people, and we will work closely with representative bodies to engage directly with them. Next year’s Commonwealth Games present a unique opportunity to inspire children and young people and encourage participation in sport, and the final Strategy and action plan can help achieve this.”

Katie Clucas, Young People’s Sport Panel member, said,

“This is a really exciting time for sport and the panel is playing a lead role in ensuring Scotland’s young people directly benefit from all that’s being done to help improve sport.

“I’m pleased that the sport panel and other youth organisations are heavily involved in the process because, by listening to our views and opinions, the Youth Sport Strategy is being shaped by those it is designed for and, with us all behind it, this will help deliver a strategy that can make a real difference.”

Jacqueline Lynn, Sports Development Head at sportscotland, said,

“Tremendous progress has been made in recent years towards fully delivering the target of two hours/two periods at schools, and the investment announced today ensures that good work can continue.

“Working with our partners in local government, we have successfully connected high quality physical education to our Active Schools Network which is providing more and better opportunities for children and young people to take part in sport and physical activity.

“The Youth Sport Strategy represents a significant milestone in the development of sport in this country, and with the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup fast approaching, there is no better time to celebrate what we are doing for youth sport and consider what more could be done.”

Suzanne Hargreaves, Senior Education Officer at Education Scotland commented,

“Curriculum for Excellence brings PE, physical activity and sport into one organiser within health and wellbeing. This strong connection is reflected in the Youth Sport Strategy providing a progressive pathway from core physical education to sports performance.

“We are really encouraged by the number of schools already working towards the Scottish Government’s two hour/two period target for core physical education by June 2014.

“Physical education provides the platform that enables learners to develop the physical competencies, cognitive skills and personal qualities necessary for participation in a wide range of physical activity, sport, dance and outdoor learning”

Notes to Editors

The draft Strategy – Giving Children and Young People a Sporting Chance: A Strategy for Scotland – was developed with a working group, consisting of representatives from the Scottish Government, the Young People’s Sport Panel, sportscotland, Education Scotland, ADES, COSLA, VOCAL, the Scottish Sports Association, Scottish Disability Sport, Scottish Student Sport, Youth Scotland, Young Scot, and Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People.

The consultation can be found at: https://www.scotland.gov.uk/Consultations/Current.

In March 2012 the Scottish Government and COSLA launched a joint commitment to deliver by 2014 at least two hours of PE in primary schools and at least two periods of PE in secondary schools for pupils S1-S4. The latest statistics (Healthy Living Survey 2013) outlined that 89% of all schools (88% of primary and 91% of secondary schools) were delivering the PE target, up from 85% in 2012.

The £5.8 million funding for PE over 2014-16, which will be delivered through a partnership between Education Scotland and sportscotland, will continue to support schools to deliver high quality learning experiences in PE. This funding will assist Local Authorities in maintaining the quantity, and continuing to improve the quality, of PE provision in schools, ensuring that all children and young people have the opportunity to develop the physical competencies and skills necessary to participate in a wide range of physical activity and sport.

Community Sport Hubs are based in local places such as club pavilions, sports centres, community centres, and schools, and bring local people together and provide a home for local clubs and sports organisations. 150 Community Sport Hubs across all 32 local authorities, with at least 50% based in schools, will be delivered by 2016.

Since 2007 sportscotland has invested over £80 million in the Active Schools Programme. Last year the programme provided over 5 million opportunities for young people to take part in over 100 different sports and activities. There were 18,000 links between schools and sports clubs, helping pupils to participate in sport outwith their school.

SG Communications

Email: SGCommunications@scot.gov.uk