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Putting sport on a bigger field

The Scottish SchoolSport Federation (SSF) would wish to support the work of the physical education review group and is pleased that the minister has acted so swiftly to provide support for local authorities to implement all the recommendations of the report.

It is good to see that PE will take a much higher place on the curriculum from early years right through to the end of secondary with a greater number of teachers in schools.

When combined with the role of the active schools co-ordinators, there will be far greater opportunities for children to benefit from more activity.

Exercise should help tackle some of the health problems that are fast developing in childhood through inactivity and poor diets.

But the scope of the report was limited to PE and by not including out-of-hours in the review, the SSF is disappointed that the opportunity was not grasped to strengthen participation in school sport. This would have led to a much stronger curriculum to out-of-hours link that would be greatly beneficial to children's participation in sport.

Sport, and in particular school sport, is an important part of the lives of children and should not be underestimated. In developing potential and achieving excellence, school sport plays an important role in many schools, benefiting children, parents, teachers, volunteers and communities. There is now undoubtedly a great opportunity for the whole out-of- hours school sport area to be taken forward and time should be set aside to review and join up the resources available, in particular the funding of study support and New Opportunities FundOut of School Learning programmes .

Alan Clark Secretary, Scottish SchoolSport Federation

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