Mel Young with pupils from St Mark's Primary

Record breakers

Scottish schools make the grade

A record number of schools have been awarded a prestigious national award from sportscotland for this academic year.

The sportscotland School Sport Award is given for innovation and achievement in delivering school sport, with 673 schools passing with flying colours.

That is a 6% increase on 2016/2017 meaning more Scottish schools than ever are putting sport at the heart of their school ethos. The number of gold-rated schools has increased to 284, a jump of over a third from last year’s total of 212 with 307 schools being awarded silver status and 82 bronze.

Funded by the National Lottery, the sportscotland School Sport Award is a national initiative designed to encourage schools to continuously improve extra-curricular sport. It puts young people at the forefront of decision making and planning of physical education and school sport while increasing opportunities for pupils to take part.

Mel Young with St Mark's Primary pupils


The award also encourages sporting links between schools and the communities around them, providing opportunities for young people to progress.

Chair of sportscotland, Mel Young, who was at St Mark’s Primary School in Rutherglen to announce the award winners, said: “Congratulations to staff and pupils across the country who are putting physical education and sport right at the heart of their school and local community. They should be proud of this fantastic achievement.

“Along with our partners, sportscotland is committed to building a world-class sporting system for everyone, and a crucial part of that is putting young people at the centre of our efforts. Working with local authorities and governing bodies of sport, we are creating closer links between physical education, school sport and club sport, which benefits young people by providing more and better opportunities to take part in sport.

“It’s great to be able to recognise more schools than we ever have before, it shows that pupils, staff and parents across the country see the undoubted value in having sport as a crucial part of school life.”

Minister for Sport, Joe FitzPatrick, said: “It’s great to see so many schools engaging with the sportscotland School Sport Award and using it as a tool to continuously improve what they offer in physical education, physical activity and sport. Initiatives like this award highlight the commitment we are making to encourage and support children and young people to live an active life.”

St Mark's Primary pupils play tennis


To achieve a bronze or silver sportscotland School Sport Award, schools self-assess their current practice. However, to gain gold status an extensive external assessment is also carried out by an independent panel of experts.

The award is supported by the Active Schools Network, a programme that involves sportscotland working in partnership with all 32 local authorities to encourage schools to ensure there are opportunities for all children and young people to engage, participate and reach their potential in this area.

The on-line self-assessment tool supports schools to achieve this by helping them to reflect on their current practice and identify areas for improvement. It also puts the young people in the school at the forefront of the decision making and implementation processes around sport in their school.

Find out more

About the School Sport Award.

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