School’s fitness to teach PE boosted by extra gym hall

South Morningside Primary

South Morningside Primary

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A SCHOOL that consistently fails to meet pupil PE targets is to make use of an extra gym hall in a bid to reverse the trend.

Fears have been growing over the reduced amount of PE pupils at South Morningside receive due to the lack of space.

The school, one of the city’s most overcrowded primaries, already has a gym hall but it is used for so many other activities that it cannot accommodate the national minimum recommendation of two hours of PE per week for each pupil.

Concerned parents took the matter into their own hands and came up with a solution that would free up some money to enable the school to pay to rent out a second gym hall.

They worked out that thousands of pounds per year was being spent to bus children to a second overflow building just 0.6 miles away.

The pupils were being driven to and from their main school building in Comiston Road to an annexe at the Cluny Centre in Cluny Drive, which has additional classrooms, at a cost of £14,500 per year.

They put their findings – which they had originally estimated at £20,000 – to the council and called for bosses to scrap the bus service and let the children walk instead.

Council bosses have stopped the bus service and now plan to use the savings to pay for gym hall rental at the Cluny Centre.

Kate Morris, chair of South Morningside’s parent council, said: “We are delighted because it’s something we have been calling for, for some time.

“This will certainly go a long way to meeting PE targets.

“It’s an enormous problem at the school because they just haven’t had the space to provide adequate PE provision.”

Councillor Alison Johnstone, education spokeswoman for the Greens, put a motion to the council earlier this year backing up the parents. She said: “I welcome the fact that the administration have listened to the sensible suggestions.”

City education leader Councillor Marilyne MacLaren said: “Not only will this improve access to PE facilities, it’ll mean that money is saved.”

gfraser@edinburghnews.com