Report says PE targets being missed

Sandy Aitchison
Sandy Aitchison

A Scottish Government report has shown Borders primary schools are missing the goal for physical education targets.

But Scottish Borders Council officials say they are mystified by the findings and are challenging the Holyrood paper.

The document shows that while the number of pupils across the country receiving two hours’ weekly physical activity has increased to 88 per cent, in the Borders it has fallen by 10 per cent.

A total of 79 per cent of primary schools hit the Government target in 2013, compared to 89 per cent last year.

Borders MSP John Lamont said: “PE is an important part of the curriculum and it is disappointing that so many schools are not managing to meet the targets as set out by the Scottish Government.

“Not only can it encourage children to take up new sports and activities, it can also ensure that they remain fit and healthy in their formative years.

“With the SNP wanting every school in Scotland to hit these targets in time for the Commonwealth Games next year, it is a huge blow to see such a sharp drop.”

But SBC’s education executive member, councillor Sandy Aitchison, said: “We recognised in 2012 that 84 per cent of our primary schools were delivering 120 minutes of PE per week. As a result, we are currently engaged in a development programme to support schools to improve delivery and reach the 100 per cent target.

“I note that these figures were collated at school level through the health survey and not from the department.

“I can only surmise that the concept of 120 minutes of PE has been interpreted differently at school level.

“We feel we are on track and making progress against this key target.”