Alison Johnstone, MSP for Lothian, is highlighting two major reports out today (25 June) showing the challenges facing teachers and the lack of progress on physical education.

Commenting on the latest Statistical Bulletin, which shows a drop in secondary schools meeting PE targets, Alison said:

“To see a drop, albeit only one per cent, in the number of secondary schools providing at least 100 minutes of PE a week is a real worry. The Scottish Government needs to invest in proper facilities, proper coaching and ensure exercise is fundamental part of our education system rather than an optional extra.

“I’m also concerned to see the number of primary schools meeting the government’s target of PE provision has only moved up four per cent in the past year. To still have twelve per cent of our primary schools not providing two hours a week simply isn’t good enough, given the increasing warnings around diabetes and obesity, and all the talk of creating a national sporting legacy.”

Commenting on the OECD’s Education at a Glance report, Alison said:

“Teachers in Scotland face mounting workloads, report excessive unpaid overtime and have seen their pay fall in real terms. While it makes sense to encourage preparation of lessons and professional development it seems teachers aren’t being given the breathing space to do these things properly.

“This report highlights key areas the Scottish Government must do more about. Investment to give our educators greater flexibility is essential.”