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National funds to activate teachers

As part of the Scottish Executive's commitment to improving children's health and increasing the provision of PE, it is funding developments at Glasgow University and Edinburgh University that will now make PE certificate courses available to primary teachers across the country.

Details of the courses offered, which may include some online learning, are under discussion. Glasgow's first cohort finished in two years, but it should be possible to compress that to just over a year, says Theresa Campbell of Glasgow University.

"Another pleasant surprise was that we wanted to do lots of practical work, but wondered if that would put people off. We found exactly the opposite.

You would get teachers coming in a bit tired from working all day. Then they would start doing PE and suddenly come to life again."

Some central funding is also being provided to local authorities for supply cover, although the enthusiasm demonstrated in Glasgow means teachers will be expected to do most of the course during their 35 hours of CPD.

Local authorities and teachers will decide how certificated primary teachers, with their newly acquired PE specialisms, will be deployed. The Executive's intention is to support an initiative that delivers sufficient flexibility to tackle the problem - too few PE teachers - in several different ways.

Some teachers might be willing, for instance, to become a new kind of specialist and work across several schools, while others may regard this as too narrow an experience to suit their ambitions.

There is no intention that PE certificated primary teachers will replace or compete with secondary specialists, says the Executive. Both are regarded as valuable and essential.

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