PE Sport and Physical Activity in Scotland and beyond

Fit For The Future: A Scottish Consumer Council Study

Posted by drilly on December 5, 2007

Fit For The Future Young peoples participation in physical activity in secondary schools. This is a study published by the Scottish Consumer Council


The press release  states:

The majority of young Scots have a positive attitude to sports and exercise but more could be done to provide them with opportunities to be physically active according to the findings of a new study from Scotland’s foremost consumer organisation. A survey of secondary school pupils across Scotland commissioned by the Scottish Consumer Council (SCC) has found that three-quarters of young people enjoy Physical Education (PE) and games lessons in school and the same number enjoy taking part in sport and exercise in their leisure time. But six out often young people aren’t taking part in any school-based sport or exercise outside classes – even though many were keen to have more opportunities.

The research by Ipsos MORI involving more than 1,900 young people aged from 11 to18 highlighted the fact that participation in both class-based and optional school-based activities tails off dramatically during S5 and S6. While almost all S1 – S4 pupils take part in PE classes, by S6 non-participation increases to over 40%. Similarly, only a third of S6 pupils do any optional school-based sport or exercise. The research also found that girls continue to be less likely to take part in extra-curricular opportunities and that young people living in more deprived communities had a lower take up of optional school-based opportunities.

The SCC’s Fit for the Future report is calling for the Scottish Government to follow moves seen in England to extend the current two hours of PE on a week to providing young people with the opportunity to take part in five hours of physical activity. Physical activity, while including PE, is a wider concept bringing in physical activities in other classes and opportunities to participate in exercise outwith class time such as lunchtime and after school clubs. Providing a range of physical activities could help to make participation more attractive to young people who don’t currently take part, such as girls and those who don’t consider themselves to be good at sport.

3 Responses to “Fit For The Future: A Scottish Consumer Council Study”

  1. Russell Imrie said

    Funny you should mention this Iain. I recently thought of starting up an after school club in the New Year called Activ8 for 2008. It is to target S1-S3 pupils who are inactive (not already attending a PE after school club). Although I am finding it difficult to advertise without creating a stigma. Anyone any suggestions?


  2. Do you have to advertise it? Do know who the pupils are? Approach them individually and give the them a personal invite you will be amazed as often showing a little bit of interest in these pupils is what they need. They will possibly lack confidence and you may even have to meet them and bring them in.
    You may want to target a specific year group. Biggar high school has a great scheme that runs at lunchtimes for S1 pupils and is administered with significant help from the S5/6 sports leaders class. The S1 pupils are provided with a card that allows them to borrow all sorts of equipment from swing ball to badminton that they can use in a designated almost enclosed area of the school grounds. The sports leaders ensure that no other year groups enter and that the S1 pupils use the equipment as it should be. Pupils cannot borrow equipment without a card and misuse results in loss of privileges.
    If you want to target girls then there has been some great work going on in various schools around the country as part of a Youth Sport Trust programme and I think the case studies are due for release if they are not all ready out. Stranraer Academy has been particularly successful because the scheme is for girls only and there was true personalisation and choice.
    Initially they asked the girls what they wanted to do and provided taster sessions of almost every activity they wanted. Then the girls asked for longer blocks of the activities they enjoyed. The physical activities were also supplemented with some beauty therapy sessions and smoothie making sessions as rewards for regular attendance so the club became like a health and lifestyle club. They approached local businesses to become involved and provide some of the incentives. They also work in partnership with the local sports centre to provide some of the activities at minimal or even no cost as these girls are potential future clients and once they are aware of the activities and classes that the centre provides. I think this model could be applied to any group you identify.

  3. Russell Imrie said

    I had not thought of the approach to individually invite the pupils. I like the idea and think I may go for this. I know of numerous pupils I would like to come, but getting them to attend is another matter.

    Thanks for the advice.

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