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Finding time

Limited time and resources pose difficulties for ensuring all pupils have at least two hours of physical education a week, as the Education Minister insists. So how do the North Lanarkshire sports comprehensives do it? Douglas Blane reports

To find the extra time for physical education takes innovative thinking, says North Lanarkshire's PE adviser.

"One idea," says John French, "is that the technology mode could be fulfilled in another subject, such as art, which has computer experts, rather than being a discrete course. That frees up the time.

"In the junior school, pupils are often getting two hours of PE already, so the problem begins in S3. But with the relaxing of the age and stage restrictions, schools are looking at dropping from eight Standard grades to seven and dividing the extra periods between PE, citizenship and personal, social and health education.

"In the senior school, PE has been optional in the past, but it is compulsory in our sports comprehensives.

"To broaden the appeal and provide qualifications, we have introduced the Community Sports Leader award. That is proving very popular in the sports comprehensives, with the girls as well as boys, so we are now looking at extending it to all our secondary schools."

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