PE Sport and Physical Activity in Scotland and beyond

Sports Colleges conference

Posted by drilly on February 2, 2008

I have just returned from 2 wonderful days in Telford at the Sports Colleges Conference. This is the largest event of its type in Europe if not the world with well in excess of 2000 delegate in attendance

Read the conference report

All the speakers and keynotes were excellent but the stand out for me was Erin Gruwell Freedom Writers Foundation as she freedomdiary.jpgtold the story of how she worked in Wilson High School in Long Beach, California with some very disaffected and disadvantaged pupils. The story of their learning journey together is absolutely awe inspiring and has recently been made into a film Watch the trailer below


The workshops were excellent and I took a lot from them. I am specifically going to follow up on a prototype camera the Evaluator that one of the schools is developing. It is basically a £30 pound video camera very child friendly with an inbuilt screen for instant playback. You could buy a set of 15 for the price of a standard video camera and deploy them 1 between 2 in a class for gathering data analysing performance etc. They could be used across the school in many departments not just PE and they save the videos in AVI format which can be uploaded to a PC for editing or storage. Hopefully be able to write a bit more about this in the near future.

A number of things really hit home during the conference. The level of Governmental support surpasses anything we have in Scotland. The Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport, Andy Burnham, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, the Rt. Hon Ed Balls and the sports minister, Gerry Sutcliffe were all present and all spoke at the conference pledging their support for PE and school sport read more. The level of additional Government funding totally eclipses the spending in Scotland: £1.2 billion up to 2008 with a further £100 million announced last year to support a target of 5 hours PE and sport per week for all pupils, an additional £30 million to support facilities in Sports Colleges announced by Ed Balls on Thursday and then an additional £750 million announced by Gordon Brown on Friday.

The other blaringly obvious fact is that in Sue Campbell PE and Sport in England have a champion who is operating at the highest political level, has the ear of the ministers and more importantly is being listened to. We have nobody doing this in Scotland we don’t even have an advisory group informing the political debate and given the Scottish Governments desire to streamline I doubt we will have one either.


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