St Paul’s RC High School receving their award

Making the grade

Record number of schools make the grade in delivery of school sport

A record number of schools across the country have now received a prestigious national award from sportscotland in recognition of their commitment to putting sport at the heart of the school ethos.

The sportscotland School Sport Award is presented for innovation and achievement in delivering school sport and physical activity, with 750 schools now in possession of an award. That is a 11.5% increase on 2017/2018 as more schools than ever put young people at the forefront of decision making and planning of school sport and PE while increasing participation opportunities.

The number of gold-standard schools now stands at an all-time high of 399, an increase of 40.5% from last year’s total of 284. A further 277 schools achieved silver and 74 bronze after a significant number of schools completed their continuous improvement journey towards the gold award.

Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney, announced the latest awards during a visit to St Paul’s RC High School in the Pollok area of Glasgow.

He said: “Participation in sport and physical activity has an immensely positive impact on young people, improving their health, confidence and motivation.

"The record number of gold ratings is testament to the hard work of teachers and staff across the country in putting sport at the heart of the curriculum.

“My congratulations to St Paul’s, St Angela’s, St Bernard’s, St Marnock’s and St Vincent’s on all achieving a gold-rating - the first Glasgow cluster to do so, thanks to their shared commitment to provide sport for pupils at all stages. My congratulations go as well to all other schools receiving the award.”

Chief executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “It’s testament to the work of a variety of partners, including thousands of pupils, parents, volunteers and teachers, that we can now say this is a record-breaking year for the School Sport Award. Each and every single person involved should be very proud of this fantastic achievement.

“There is an undoubted value in sport being at the heart of school life. With that in mind we are committed to helping build a Scotland where sport is a way of life and young people are central to this.

"That is why we are working with local authorities and governing bodies of sport to strengthen links between physical education, school sport and club sport.”

Schools across Glasgow have again enjoyed School Sport Award success, with 29 gold, 11 silver and 4 bronze awards across the local authority area. St Paul’s RC High School is one of the new gold-standard schools having been highlighted as an example of excellence.

All four of St Paul’s High School’s feeder primaries – St Angela’s, St Bernard’s, St Marnock’s and St Vincent’s have received gold awards – making it the first all-gold cluster in Glasgow.

Head Teacher at St Paul’s RC High School, Lisa Pierotti, said: “We firmly believe that sport does not just have the power to deliver better health, it can also contribute to wider wellbeing, enabling children and young people to build relationships and to learn skills that they need in order to be successful in life.  

“Whatever pathway they choose to follow, we hope that being active will be a lifelong habit for all our young people. Great sporting opportunities for young people are about friendship, learning, excitement, challenge, achievement and being fit and healthy. We believe playing sport is like having a common language and sport can and does bring people together.”

Funded by the National Lottery, the School Sport Award is a national initiative designed to encourage schools to continuously improve extra-curricular sport. It also encourages links between schools and local communities, providing opportunities for young people to progress and further develop their sporting experiences.

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About the sportscotland School Sport Awards.

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