Editor's comment

16th May 2008 at 01:00
The draft guidelines for health and well-being exhort teachers to model healthy lifestyles for their pupils
The draft guidelines for health and well-being exhort teachers to model healthy lifestyles for their pupils. That should put a stop to teachers indulging in any of the behaviour portrayed in the Waterloo Road television series involving smoking, drinking, drugs or promiscuity then. Not to mention a ban on chocolate biscuits in the staffroom.

On a serious note, there is little in the new curriculum that should prove too controversial, despite the fact that it covers some of the most sensitive areas of the school syllabus - sex and drugs. Partnership working seems to be the mantra, with a focus on sharing responsibility for delivering the messages with other specialists, such as the police, health authorities, and school nurses. There are hints that drugs education initiatives will be introduced at an earlier age, but, as with sex and relationships education, only in an age-appropriate context.

The real talking point of the latest draft outcomes for A Curriculum for Excellence is the Government's reiteration of its two-hour per week PE target for every child. It is hard to find anyone in education who believes youngsters should not be doing more physical exercise and thus becoming fitter. The question, however, is whether the target is deliverable in practice.

Is the SNP Government simply being pragmatic when it says it expects all schools to work towards this target as quickly as possible? Or is it ducking a hard commitment made in its election manifesto?

So far, it has given schools and local authorities a fair degree of latitude in how they implement their targets, whether cutting class sizes or PE instruction. The key test will come when a council falls short of its single outcome agreement. To retain any credibility, the Government will have to demonstrate both that it means what it says - and the muscle to enforce delivery.

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