The daily mile, which was developed by Elaine Wylie, a retired headteacher of St Ninian’s primary school in Stirling, is an excellent initiative that is simple, free and flexible. I am delighted to see it and other daily physical activity initiatives being adopted by so many schools across Scotland.
In November, to support the daily mile, along with the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, I wrote to all headteachers in Scotland to make them aware of the initiative and to encourage schools to adopt daily physical activity initiatives that are appropriate to their circumstances. In December, Education Scotland published its resource “Approaches to physical activity in the primary years”, which features case studies about implementing the daily mile and other initiatives in primary schools.
I understand that seven primary schools in Renfrewshire are currently participating and that three more intend to do so in the near future. The benefits of the daily mile are currently being studied at the University of Stirling, but I know from visiting St Ninian’s and other schools that participate in the initiative that, anecdotally, the benefits are not just for the health of the young people concerned but for their ability to concentrate and to attain at school.