Higher PE lacks muscle;Letter

5th March 1999 at 00:00
OF THE many difficulties which Higher Still presents to a willing but frustrated physical education profession, the greatest is the absence of a definitive course syllabus and textbook.

While it is undoubtedly true that there are now more support materials than ever before, these most basic and essential two are missing. We have lots of icing, but neither cookbook nor ingredients.

For 10 years PE departments have muddled away at devising their own courses and materials for Standard grade, devoting countless hours needlessly to a task which should have been organised by the Scottish Office. Again for five years the process was repeated for Higher PE and the effect is reflected in our results.

"Enough is enough" was the unequivocal clarion call of PE staff across the country from the outset of Higher Still, and fully fleshed out courses were reluctantly but repeatedly promised.

I am convinced that the demise of extracurricular sport is primarily due to the huge amount to time and energy hundreds of PE staff across the length and breadth of Scotland have had to devote to replicating each other's work.

Ninety-five per cent of PE departments are about to plunge boldly into the new Higher Still course in June. Whether we sink or swim depends on the Higher Still Development Unit delivering a definitive, fleshed out course and textbook in time, as promised.

Neil Brownlee Principal teacher of PE Munro Road, Glasgow

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